Spiced Watermelon Rind Pickles
4 quarts prepared watermelon rind
3 tablespoons Pickling Lime
3 quarts water
8 cups granulated sugar
1 - 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced, optional
1 quart white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon (3-inch pieces)
2 pieces ginger root (1-inch long), optional
1 -2 Tablespoons peppercorns, optional
1 bulb garlic, thinly sliced, optional
Wash jars in hot soapy water, rinse well. Sterilize by boiling for 10 minutes hold jars in hot water until use.
To prepare watermelon rind, trim dark skin and pink flesh from thick watermelon rind. Wash and cut in 1-inch pieces or as desired. Dissolve lime in 2 quarts water in a food-storage container. Pour over rind. If needed, add more water to cover rind. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature. Drain and rinse several times to remove all lime. Put rind in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Simmer (approx 30 mins) just until tender enough to easily pierce with a toothpick, and drain.
Tie cloves, cinnamon, and ginger in cheesecloth bag. In a large saucepan, combine spices with sugar, vinegar, remaining 1 quart of water, garlic, and lemon. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add watermelon rind and simmer until rind is translucent (approx 45-60 mins.) Add boiling water if syrup becomes too thick before rind is done. Remove spice bag. Pack rind into hot jars Add syrup leaving 1/2-inch head-space. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims. Adjust lids and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner or according to your local regulations/altitude.
Yield: 7 pints
Recipe & Photos by Guest Poster: JD Provence for Canning and Cooking at Home