Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sticky sweet oddities: Cantaloupe Jam

The fridge is so full right now.  We are lucky in that regard, but it makes it awfully difficult to find a nice big spot to put a crock of marinating fish.  The old cantaloupe that I got for $1 at the veggie stand needed to go, but I hate throwing away food, especially if it might still be good.  I was in serious doubt, since there were soft little patches all over it, but it hadn't turned fuzzy, so I sliced it open.  It was actually perfect, sweet and juicy.  Knowing that we probably wouldn't eat it all up and it would spoil even faster being cut, I decided to get adventurous and try turning it into jam.  It worked, and now I have three beautiful jars of jam cooling on my kitchen counter.

Cantaloupe Jam
1 medium to large cantaloupe
1/2 cup orange juice
lemon zest, to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar

Remove the rind and seeds, cut the melon into chunks, and puree using a blender or food processor.  Add all ingredients to a heavy pot or large saucepan, and let simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture has a jelly-like consistency.  I scooped some out periodically and put the spoon in the freezer to let it cool to see what the consistency was like.  When you get it where you want it, fill your jelly jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Place lids and rings on jars and boil in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

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