Citron Melon Preserves
Citron melon is very high in pectin so is a desirable ingredient for preserves. The flesh is much stiffer and more strongly flavored than that of watermelon. This is a preserve you will want to try.
about three 8-ounce (half-pint) jars
1 1/2 quarts prepared citron melon (about 2 pounds)
4 cups granulated (white) sugar, divided
1 quart (4 cups) water
1/2 cup thinly sliced and seeded lemon (about 1 medium)
The outer part of the citron melon is superior for preserves. The inner part may be used, but should be prepared separately. Cut outer part crosswise into 3/4-inch slices; trim off green peel. Cut rind into 1-inch pieces. Remove seeds from inner part; cut into 1-inch pieces. In a large stainless steel saucepan, add 2 cups sugar to water; bring to a boil. Add citron and cook rapidly until tender. Cover and let stand 12 to 18 hours in a cool place (70°F to 75°F/21°C to 23°C).
Prepare canner, jars and lids.
Add remaining sugar and lemon to citron melon mixture. Boil gently until melon is transparent and syrup is thick. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot preserves. Clean rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band (ring) down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Place jars in a water bath (boiling-water) canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Store.
If the syrup becomes too thick, add a small amount of boiling water. If syrup is too thin and citron melon is fully cooked, remove citron melon from syrup; set aside. Boil syrup until desired thickness. Return citron melon to syrup and heat throughout.
If you are canning above 1,000 feet sea level, see Canning Altitude Adjustments to find how much additional processing time is needed.
See Canning & Preserving Glossary for a description of terms used in this recipe.
Before canning each season, review canning procedures. See Canning & Preserving Basics to refresh your memory with the procedures.