Watermelon Rind Preserves

Watermelon Rind Preserves – I made this using the Indiana watermelon rinds I had after cutting up the fruit yesterday.  I now have 15 jars of watermelon rind preserves.  I will be giving it a try on my morning toast tomorrow!

I substituted 4 cups of splenda for part of the sugar, and added one package of geletin (to help the preserves thicken) since I lowered the sugar content.  I also used my immersion blender to puree the rinds so that what I have is a spreadable preseve rather than chunky preserves.  There are still some chunks, just not as much as one would have had I not pureed them.

4 pounds chopped watermelon rind

1  gallon water

1/2 cup salt

9 cups white sugar

8 cups water

4 teaspoons crushed cinnamon stick

4 teaspoons ground cloves

4 lemons – rinsed, sliced and seeded

1 dash red food coloring (optional)

            Directions

  1.                     Peel off the green part of the watermelon rind, and slice into 2 inch pieces. Soak the rind in a solution of 1 gallon water and 1/2 cup salt overnight.
  2.                     Remove rind from the salt water, and place in a stockpot with clean water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the rind is tender. Drain.
  3.                     In a large pot, combine the sugar, 8 cups water, and sliced lemons. Tie the cinnamon and cloves into a cheesecloth bag, and place in the pot. Bring the syrup to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Add the rinds, and cook until transparent. Remove spice bag. Stir in red food coloring, if using. Ladle preserves into hot sterile jars, and process to seal.

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