When the watermelon is not as expected, do not be disappointed. Just make watermelon jam. Mix it with sugar.
Even if the watermelon, is good, sweet, also make a jam with it, because its characteristic composition, taste and texture are ideal for “jamming”.
Disclaimer: Nothing to do with watermelon sugar… Harry Style’s song!
After the needed clarification, back to our award winning marmalade.
The truth is that I have made tons of watermelon jam in my workshop. In fact, in the glorious times, I flavoured it with saffron from Kozani. I have also kept in my file this photo of me fighting in the summer with two large pots of melon jam and watermelon jam.
I have no complaint though because my efforts were rewarded with a brilliant distinction by BHMAgourmet, a famous Greek gastronomy magazine, as one of the 100 Best Greek Products. Actually, three out of the 100 best Greek products of that list, were mine.
Anyways, Last week I cut a super-ripe watermelon. I did not intend to make a jam, but this particular one provoked me for some inexplicable reason. Maybe it is its bright colour and its “chewy” texture, maybe its strong watermelon flavour. Additionally, it was small enough, so I would not get tired.
Maybe because it was completely a disaster, but I felt sorry to throw it away. Against food waste, you know. Maybe just because it was just a good opportunity to write down for you the recipe.
- 1 kg of watermelon flesh, pureed, without kernels.
- 300g white sugar
- 1 whole lemon
- half of an orange (optional)
- 2-3 leaves of rose geranium (pelargonium graveolens)
Instructions for a perfect watermelon jam
1. Wash the watermelon and remove the outer green part. I keep as much as possible from the soft green part.
2. Cut the watermelon into small pieces and remove the black kernels. I leave the soft whites ones, because I like them as an extra texture in the spread.
3. Squeeze each piece separately with your hands to remove as much liquid as possible and put the puree in a bowl.
4. Weigh the puree and add half the quantity in sugar.
5. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze it into the bowl with the watermelon and sugar. I leave the squeezed lemon cups in the bowl.
6. I cut an orange in half, squeeze the juice into the bowl and leave these orange cups inside the bowl too.
7. Store the bowl in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours until it gets enough liquid. The sugar does not need to be dissolved.
8. Tilt the bowl in the sink and lightly remove most of the clear water. If you do not remove it, it will be difficult to completely set. To be precise, it will either not set at all, or it will need to be boiled for longer time. The result will be that you will lose the red bright colour and it will darken. It is the only waste of the recipe, and its value is irrelevant. If you regret throwing it away, you can add pectin, but I do not recommend it. That’s why I do not write the procedure in details.
9. Empty the contents into the pot, add the rest of the sugar and the rose geranium.
10. Boil the contents on low to medium heat until the sugar is completely melted. Not at high temperatures because it will caramelize and darken.
11. I raise the temperature and let it set, stirring often.
12. The pieces of watermelon will soften but will not melt. I remove the juniper leaves. the lemon and orange slices and mash the contents with a hand blender.
CAUTION: Do not get burned. It is better to remove the pot from the stove until it is pureed.
13. Once mashed, let the jam to boil and start the final step to set. If the content sticks to the bottom it means you are on the right track. If it does not stick, you have probably left a lot of liquids, so it takes some time to set. For safety, use a thermometer for jams and let it reach 105º Celsius or 225º Fahrenheit.
14. The jam is ready. Store in sterile jars, seal tightly with the lid, turn the jar upside down and let it cool slowly and without moving it.
If you liked the recipe, see this one toο: Its a melon jam! If it is all Greek to you, don’t hasitate to help #metomati by translating the recipe into your language!