18 September 2015

Watermelon & lime marmalade

I'm a bit in the habit of posting photographs of a particularly yummy breakfast or lunch to the Jenny Eatwell Facebook page.  Well, I like to share.  What can I tell you?  Having done so of hubby's new brew of Watermelon Rind & Lime Marmalade, quite a few people have shown just as much interest in it as we did when we first saw the recipe, here : http://food52.com/blog/13793-stop-throwing-out-the-best-part-of-the-watermelon .  The recipe has had quite a journey, having originated with Olia Hercules' cook book Mamushka, then been slightly adapted by Food 52's Kristen Miglore, before coming to roost with us!

A typical Facebook breakfast post - duck egg & marmalade.
The words "watermelon rind" caught my attention to begin with, as it begs the question "the green bit?".  Apparently not, however.  You peel off the green bit and use the white bit that's in between the fleshy layer and the outer green rind.  So, truth be told, it should be called "Watermelon pith and lime marmalade", but that doesn't sound very appealing.

So having established we're talking about a semi-edible bit of the watermelon, my attention is next caught by the idea of pairing it with lime.  I love lime.  Anything lime gets my vote, instantly.

Well hubby was so intrigued, it became one of those "it has to be done" things.  So he did and I love it.  It has a really strong, bitter flavour that is akin to Frank Cooper's Vintage orange marmalade, which I love.  However, hubby finds the lime peel to be sliced too thick and the melon pith to be cut too small.  I do agree with him that slicing the lime ultra-thin, maybe just zesting some of the peel and leaving the watermelon pith a lot bigger, would have altered the balance of power between the two flavours, bringing the watermelon to the fore.  The watermelon undergoes quite a transition in the cooking process, becoming glassy and almost crystalline in structure, winding up looking like little square sweeties.  It tastes divine, but does have a tendency to be knocked sideways by the lime, currently.

Once I've eaten this batch (because I'm the only one who likes it), we're going to give it a go with the thinner lime zest and bigger watermelon pith - just to see what happens.  I can't say whether it'll work - but even if it doesn't, you'll still have a fantastic marmalade for your toast!

The fallback position of "hmmn, it's just the same" is fine by me!

WATERMELON & LIME MARMALADE  (Makes two 450ml (3/4 pint) jars)

Ingredients :

500g watermelon pith (sweet red flesh removed, green skin removed), diced
300g golden caster sugar
4 limes, halved and thinly sliced (or quartered and finely sliced).

Method : 

Mix all the ingredients together in a container (plastic or glass, preferably), cover with cling film, and leave in the refrigerator overnight.

Using a non-reactive saucepan, pour in the ingredients and cook gently over a low heat until the sugar is all dissolved.

Bring to a boil and cook at a lively simmer for 50 minutes or until the watermelon skin turns translucent.

The marmalade should reach setting point (where a small amount dropped onto a cold surface will develop a skin as it cools) before you remove from the heat.

Once at setting point, pour into 2 warm sterilized 450-ml (3/4 pint) jars, seal and cool.

The marmalade should be stored in the refrigerator and should keep, unopened, for several months.

Printable version


  1. Good Morning Jenny, It is lovely to meet you.
    This recipe fascinates me, I make marmalade, but never with watermelon rind. I think I will give this a go before the watermelons disappear from the shelf.
    Enjoy your day.
    Best Wishes

    1. Hello Daphne and I'm very happy to meet you too. In my opinion, it is very worthwhile making this marmalade! Plus, you get the advantage of "having" to eat up all the watermelon flesh - such a trial! LOL

  2. what a brilliant idea. There's a lot of watermelon stuff around at the moment but this is the most inventive. I am so intrigued!

    1. Dom, the only way to satisfy the intrigue is to get the preserving pans out - and be prepared to consume a shedload of watermelon. LOL What we did with ours, was put it - already cut into bite sized chunks - into a tupperware box in the fridge and ate it at every given opportunity. It was great to have around for the few days it lasted!

  3. Great, buy a watermelon and almost nothing wasted. Actually, we do use the watermelon pith to cook soup. It is not bad too, crunchy, but not much taste. :)

    1. I should think it adds an interesting texture in soup!


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