Watermelon rind jam is something my mother made when I was a child, although not all Romanian families were making this kind of jam. It’s pretty unusual because it uses the rind of the watermelon and not the sweet red flesh. I love the idea of making this jam for a few reasons. Firstly of all, it is fighting waste as the rind is something that would be thrown away. In addition, it has a distinct texture, because the rind is harder than an average jam fruit, a bit of this texture remains in the jam. As you can see in the picture, it’s not a paste-like jam. Lastly, it is an unusual jam, which makes it interesting.
As all jams, this needs only a few ingredients. Start by cutting slices of watermelon. Remove as much red fresh as you can. Leave a bit for the jam, so it looks prettier, but not too much as it will cook faster than the rind and it will be rather strange. Enjoy that delicious watermelon. After that you can remove the green skin of the watermelon. The cut rind can be kept in the fridge for a day or two if you want to have more rind for your jam.
Ingredients for 2 jars of Watermelon rind jam:
– 1.4 kg of watermelon rind
– 700g sugar
– juice from 2 lemons
When you have all the rind you want to use for the jam, weight it. This will determine how much sugar you need. For this jam a 2:1 ratio is what’s needed, as in, 2 parts fruits to 1 part sugar. This will also make the jam with less sugar than a regular shop-bought version.
Cut the rind in small pieces, depending on how big you want the bits in the jam to be. I like them bigger, thus this is how my jam looks like. When finished, put the watermelon rind in a big pan, add the sugar, and sprinkle the lemon juice on top.
Place the pan on the hob over medium heat. Stir from time to time. The watermelon has a lot more water content than other fruits. This is true even for the rind, so keep in mind that you will need to leave the jam on the hob for a long time. It easily takes over an hour for the water to evaporate and the jam to be ready. Keep stirring every 10 minutes so it doesn’t catch the bottom of the pan.
Transfer the jam into a clean and dry container. If you want to use the jam right away, leave it to cool before closing the lid. I keep the jam in the fridge, as all jam jars that I open. Enjoy over a slice of bread spread with margarine or vegan butter.