Last summer was the first time I made Watermelon Jelly and it was a big hit with my friends. I was gifted a lovely watermelon grown by my friend and decided that it was just too much to eat all by myself. I wondered if I could cook it down and preserve it into a jelly, and I was so pleased with how it came out.
6 cups watermelon juice
7 cups granulated sugar
2 packets Sure Jell Fruit pectin
10 half pint jars
Take 1/2 a watermelon and scoop out into a large sauce pan
Cook down over medium heat until the watermelon starts to break down. You can help it with a spoon or masher to break it up.
Once the watermelon is mainly broken down, use an immersion blender and give it a quick blend just to break down any last pieces. Don’t worry about the seeds – everything gets strained out.
Create a double strainer by placer one sieve inside of another. This will help to keep large pieces in one place while the liquid is free to flow through the bottom strainer. When you are straining you will need to help the watermelon juice flow through by using a spoon to gently stir everything through the strainer.
You will need 6 cups of strained juice for this recipe, if you need to add a little water to get the full 6 go ahead. If you have too much, enjoy some watermelon juice!
In a large heavy bottomed sauce pan heat the 6 cups of juice to a simmer and add the Sure Jell Pectin. Return to a simmer and stir to help the pectin dissolve into the juice
Once the pectin has dissolved add 7 cups of sugar and stir in. The sugar granules need to be fully dissolved, so take care to make sure everything is stirred in well. Slowly bring everything up to a rolling boil. You will notice that the volume of the jelly will appear to increase as it reaches a full rolling boil. It will quickly “deflate” as soon as the heat is removed.
Take your jelly and ladle into prepared jars. Prepared means everything has been washed and cleaned either in a dishwasher or with boiling water. Leave 1/2” of space at the top of the jars. Screw on the lids and put into a boiling water bath.
I like to use my pressure canner to can – mainly because it is such a large pan. I don’t use it as a pressure canner, but as a large pot in this instance. It also has a great rack for the bottom.
A rolling boil is what you are looking for and often time I find I need to put the lid on the pan to really reach this stage. Once the jars of jelly are in the water bath and it has reached a rolling boil, set a ten minute timer.
Once the ten minutes is up, use canning tongs and take the jars out of the water. Let them cool, if you stick around you’ll probably hear that lovely little ping as the jars cool and the canning process is completed with the lids being sucked down into place.