When I was little, my grandma used to make watermelon rind jam all the time. To me, this is a pretty classic one. However, I’ve noticed that many people did not know that you can make jam not only out of watermelon, but even out of watermelon rind. So here is my super simple recipe for extremely lazy people.
60 minutes, over 2 days.
What you will need:
Watermelon rind: you must peel off the outside layer of the rind. I didn’t, as it is edible and I was too lazy to do that. If you decide to leave it on, make sure to wash the watermelon thoroughly before you eat it. You can also leave about 1 cm of watermelon on the rind for extra flavour.
Sugar: the sugar-watermelon ratio is 1:1. So if you have 1 KG of rind, you need 1 KG of sugar. Simply adjust this to your quantity, by weighing your rind.
Lemon juice: juice from 1 lemon for 1 KG of rind.
Vanilla: 1 stick or 2 vanilla sugars. I used vanilla sugar.
1 litre of water: 1 litre water per 1 KG of rind. Adjust accordingly.
Cut the watermelon rind into smaller pieces and remove the outer layer with a peeler or a knife. My grandma’s recipe was different, she would grate the rind into a sort of paste. I chose to cut it into cubes, because I like how the pieces get crunchy and you can eat them. And because I’m lazy, duh. Who has time to grind f*cking watermelon rind. But you can grind it if you want, it works just the same. Keep 1 cm of watermelon on the rind for extra flavor and color. Weigh it, so you know how much sugar and water to add.
Make a syrup out of water, sugar, lemon juice and the vanilla stick (or 2 vanilla sugars). The lemon is NOT optional, it prevents the syrup from turning into candy. This is probably the only time when candy is a bad thing. Bring the syrup to a boil and let it boil for about 5 minutes on high intensity.
Add your rind cubes into the boiling syrup and bring the whole thing to a boil once more. Reduce the fire to medium and let it boil for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the 40 minutes have passed cover the pot with a damp cloth and leave it to cool down until the next day.
Remove the towel and check the pot. By the second day, the watermelon rind should have gotten soft and translucid(ish). Bring the whole thing to a boil once more and boil it for another 15-20 minutes. Do not make the mistake I did: check the syrup occasionally, do not let it turn into caramelized sugar! I let the pot boil for way, way longer, so now I have a jam so thick that I can barely spread it on toast. It’s fine. It’s just an inconvenience that now I must heat the jar in hot water every time I want to eat some jam, to make it softer and edible. If you have a cooking thermometer, the temperature for jam is 105°C. You can test to see if it’s done by placing a little jam on a plate and letting it cool down to see its texture. Cover the pot with a damp towel again and let it cool.
That’s it. You’re done. Enjoy. And welcome to adulthood, we make jam now.