ROCKMELON & VANILLA JAM
Who would have thought? Last summer I grew far more melons (or at least far more rockmelons) than I wanted to eat fresh, so I made some rockmelon jam.
I got this idea from American canning queen and famous foodinjars.com blogger Marisa McClellan, who appears to have invented canteloupe and vanilla jam.
Initially, I had my doubts if it would taste any good, but it was scrumptious spooned straight from the jar. The key is to use very ripe melons – by that I mean so juicy they are borderline squishy – for rich flavour. If you try making this preserve with bland, hard, underripe storebought rockmelons, it simply won’t taste any good.
• 2 cups peeled and cubed rockmelon • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or the scraped seeds from 1 fresh vanilla pod • juice and finely grated zest of ½ lemon • 2 cups jam-setting sugar
Purée the rockmelon flesh in a blender or food processor, or mash with a potato masher until soft. Place in a small pot with the vanilla, lemon juice and zest, and bring it slowly to the boil over a low heat, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking. If your rockmelons weren’t very juicy, you may need to add a little water.
Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved, then turn up the heat and boil hard for 5 minutes. Pour into jars and seal.