Sunday, May 16, 2010

Watermelon Granita and Watermelon Rind Preserves

I brought home a good sized watermelon for three dollars, and I didn't want to waste any of it. I'm the only one here that really likes watermelon, but perhaps they will take to the preserved rind.

For the Granita:
(From the Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, 1966

(You can make this as a sorbet in an ice cream maker, if you prefer)

3 cups watermelon juice (extracted through a food mill)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 packet (scant tablespoon) unflavoured gelatin
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Combine watermelon juice, lemon juice and sugar. Whisk until sugar dissolves.

Soften the gelatin in 1/4 cup of the watermelon juice, then heat in the microwave a few seconds to let it (or in a pan on the stove). Add to the rest of the juice. Freeze in a shallow pan, stirring and breaking it up with a fork every half an hour until firm. Store in an airtight container and let soften at room temperature a few minutes before serving.

From The Ball Blue Book:

For the Watermelon Rind Preserves:

1 1/2 quarts prepared watermelon rind (see below)
4 tablespoons canning salt
3 1/2 quarts water, divided
1 tablespoon ginger
4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1/2 cup thinly sliced (and peeled) lemons

To prepare rind:

Trim green part and pink flesh from rind. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts of the water and pour over rind. Let stand 5-6 hours. Drain, rinse and drain again. Cover rind with cold water and let stand 30 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle with ginger, then cover with cold water. Cook until tender.

To Make Preserves:

Combine sugar, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 quarts water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Add rind. Boil gently until rind is transparent and syrup has thickened. Add sliced lemons and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, skim foam and ladle into sterilised 1/2 pint jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal, and process 20 minutes in a boiling water canner.

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