Courtesy National Watermelon Promotion Board
Watermelon-rind pickles are translucent with a firm, crunchy and chewy texture. For the tastiest pickles, choose a melon with a thick, tender rind.
Yield: 2 to 4 pint jars
- 1/2 cup pickling lime
- 8 cups 1-inch-cubed watermelon rind, skin removed
- 4 tsp. whole cloves
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups white vinegar
Dissolve pickling lime in 4 cups water. Place rind in large bowl, and cover with pickling-lime water. Cover bowl, and let sit overnight.
The next morning, drain and rinse well. Place rind in large pan and cover with cold water. Bring water to boil, then drain again and rinse rind with cold water. Set aside.
Place spices on 4- by 4-inch cheesecloth square and tie corners together to form a bag. Place in saucepan with sugar, vinegar and 2 cups water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Pour over rind, and let sit overnight.
The next day, fill water-bath canner with water and bring to boil. Sterilize canning jars and lids, and keep hot. Bring rind and spiced liquid to boil, and cook until rind is somewhat translucent but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove spice bag, and pack rind cubes in hot jars to within 1/2 inch of top. Ladle boiling syrup over cubes to within 1/2 inch of jar top. Quickly slide a knife down the inside wall of the jar to remove air bubbles. Place lids and screw tops on jars; place jars in boiling water bath, cover, and process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner cover, and let canner sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner, and let cool in a draft-free place.
Label and store up to 18 months unopened.