Just imagine. Homemade jam, spread on fresh French baguette. A delight ! Made with tasty ripe melons, I’ve added vanilla to give a round mouth feel and lime for a little twist. A great flavor combination for incredible breakfasts.
Once you’ve tried homemade jams, it’s sooo difficult to come back to traditional supermarket jams. Unless you’re able to find little producers selecting nice fruits, avoiding to add too much sugar and having a little trick to make delicious jams. And it’s such a pleasure, for instabnce on cold mornings the middle of winter to find in your kitchen summer fruit jams ! On top of this, homemade jams are so much cheaper than the one you buy and not so complicated to make.
This is not to try to make you prepare this one but honestly, I love this jam, I could eat the whole jar! I actually made two experimentations when I found those nice melons on my market shells :
• This one with vanilla pod (but you can change for 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract) and lime.
• And a second, still with vanilla, in which I’ve added candied orange peels. It gives an incredible taste but might be too sweet if you don’t reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. So basically for the melon lam with candied orange peels recipe, here are the Ingredients: 1.5 kg melon (peeled and seeds removed), 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, juice of 1 lemon, 75 to 100 gr candied orange peels cut into small pieces, and for the amount of sugar I think 1 kg shall be enough (instead of 1.2 kg).
Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min (rest 1 to 4 hours)
Quantity: 5 to 6 jars
Specific equipment: hand blender
1.5 kg melon flesh (probably 2.5 kg of whole melon, this varies according to their size)
1.2 kg sugar (proportion are 800 gr of sugar per kilo of fruit)
1 vanilla pod
2 organic limes (juice of 1 ½ and zest of 2 limes)
1 teaspoon agar agar (optional)
Leave melon for a few hours in sugar with vanilla and lime. Mix and cook (adding agar agar at the end).
Start by peeling, discarding seeds and dicing melon. Place melon cubes in a large container and add sugar. Combine.
Cut the vanilla pod in half, scrape the inside seeds with a knife. Add this to the melon-sugar mixture.
Take off lime zests with a very fine grater and squeeze the equivalent of a lime and a half. Put everything into the bowl with the other ingredients and combine.
Let it stand at room temperature for 1 to 4 hours.
Remove the vanilla pod and mix (you can decide to leave the melon cubes). Put the vanilla back in the preparation (and cut it into pieces which will allow you to have one piece of vanilla pod in each jar of jam for decoration).
Bring to a boil and skim. Let the jam cook for 15 to 20 minutes until it comes to the jelling point and the texture changes.
Two methods to see when the jam is ready: 1 / dropping a few drips on a plate and leaning the plate. If the jam “runs away” as we say in French you have to leave the jam on the gas for a while; 2 / as my mom does : putting a big drip between two fingers (thumb and index), be careful not to burn yourself, and spreading apart both fingers. If the jam that is on each finger takes time to separate, and seems to hang heavly, then it is ready.
To help the jam fix and also for the nice texture it gives, a few minutes before the end add a teaspoon of agar agar (I sprinkle it through a tea strainer so that agar agar falls as rain) and let cook a few more broths (30 seconds are normally enough).
Pour into jars (previously sterilized by pouring into boiling water in the jars and on the lids if you don’t have a sterelizing machine), close by squeezing hard and let it cool down, pots upside down.