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Spiced Watermelon Rind Pickles
Source: An old family recipe (Entered by Janice Matthews)
When you’re enjoying those wonderful summer watermelons, save the rinds. They make a delicious sweet pickle! Scrape out all pink and soft flesh from the rind. Then peel off the outer green skin. Cut the remaining white flesh into 1-inch squares or diamonds. Then measure how much you have. The recipe here makes about 7-8 pint jars full (one water-bath canner load). If you have more or less than 1 gallon of prepared rinds, adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
Serves: 7-8 pint jars full
Step by Step Instructions
- Dissolve lime or salt in the 2 quarts of water, and pour over the rind. (If needed, add more water to cover rind.) Stir well. Let stand 2 hours if lime is used or 6 hours if salt is used. (This brining step firms up the flesh; lime makes a crisper pickle than salt does.)
- Drain and rinse well with fresh water. Then cover rind with new cold water in a pan, bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes. Pieces should be tender, yet slightly crisp at the center when pierced with a skewer. Do not overcook. Drain and place in a large bowl while you make the pickle syrup.
- Place the cloves, cinnamon, and ginger onto a piece of cheesecloth and tie the cloth into a loose bag. Put the bag into large pan with lemon, sugar, vinegar and water. Heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Then simmer this syrup for 10 minutes.
- Add the watermelon rind and continue to simmer just until pieces become clear and translucent. (Add a bit more boiling water if syrup becomes too thick before rind is clear.)
- Remove spice bag. Pack the pickles, boiling hot, into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/8 inch head space. Adjust caps. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. (Note: for a smaller batch, I don't bother canning them, but just let the pickles cool, then put them into a covered jar and store them in the refrigerator.)
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