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How to Make Watermelon Jelly With Four Simple Ingredients

I am a mom of two who loves to try and share simple, fun recipes and dishes you can create with your kids.

These jars of watermelon jelly were made from Sugar Baby watermelons, which have a reddish pink interior. To switch things up a bit, try making the jelly from heirloom watermelon varieties.

These jars of watermelon jelly were made from Sugar Baby watermelons, which have a reddish pink interior. To switch things up a bit, try making the jelly from heirloom watermelon varieties.

Watermelon Jelly: Summer in a Jar

Growing watermelon in your own garden is a fun and rewarding project. Often, there is more watermelon than you can eat fresh or give away to family and friends. There are many watermelon recipes that will allow you to enjoy the watermelon year-round. This is one type of jelly you won’t be able to find at the grocery store. It also makes a wonderful homemade gift and is a great first canning recipe.

Making watermelon jelly and canning it allows you to save summer in a jar. The flavor is bright and sweet. Even those who don’t prefer the flavor of raw watermelon will like it!

The jelly recipe below will produce 4-5 eight-ounce jars. Try using different varieties of watermelon to achieve different colors and flavors. The jam pictured below was made with a sugar baby watermelon.

Three simple steps to making watermelon jelly.

Three simple steps to making watermelon jelly.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of chopped watermelon (or 2 cups of watermelon puree)
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 package of no-sugar pectin

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Pots and pans
  • Boiling water bath
  • 8 oz. jelly jars for canning
  • Canning lids and rings

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No-sugar or low-sugar pectin has a tendency to clump when added to a recipe. To prevent this from happening, mix 1/4 cup sugar with the pectin prior to adding it to the watermelon puree.

No-sugar or low-sugar pectin has a tendency to clump when added to a recipe. To prevent this from happening, mix 1/4 cup sugar with the pectin prior to adding it to the watermelon puree.

Instructions

  1. Set the jelly jars and rims out to prepare to can the watermelon jelly.
  2. Simmer lids according to the manufacturer’s directions and have the boiling water bath (canner) ready with boiling water.
  3. Cut open and deseed a ripe watermelon.
  4. Roughly chop the watermelon fruit into squares, discarding the rind and seeds (the rind can be saved to make watermelon rind pickles, if desired).
  5. Place four cups of chopped watermelon into a blender and process into a puree. Four cups of chopped watermelon should yield about 2 cups of puree.
  6. Pour 2 cups of puree into a large sauce-pot.
  7. Add the lemon juice to the watermelon puree, along with the pectin/sugar mixture. Stir vigorously to dissolve any lumps in the mixture. Turn on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  8. Once the mixture has reached a rolling boil (a boil that won’t be stirred away), add the remaining 3 1/4 cups sugar.
  9. Stir vigorously until the sugar has dissolved into the jelly.
  10. Once the watermelon jelly reaches a rolling boil again, set a timer for 2 minutes. Boil the jelly for 2 minutes, then decant into the jelly jars.
  11. Leave 1/4 inch headspace, and apply the sterilized lids and rings.
  12. Place the jelly jars in the boiling water bath canner and process for 10 minutes.
  13. Place on the kitchen counter to cool overnight, and test lid seals to verify each jar has sealed well (the lids should not flex up and down). Canned jelly will store in a pantry for 1 year.
  14. Place any sealing failures into the refrigerator and use them within 2 weeks.

Note: Mix 1/4 cup sugar with the package of pectin for sugar-free recipes. By mixing the sugar with the pectin, you will prevent the pectin from clumping when it is added to the watermelon puree.

Serving Suggestions

Watermelon jelly can be used on toast or on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but it also has several other uses. Make cupcakes or a sheet cake, and add a layer to the middle to create a unique and wonderful watermelon-flavored cake. This jelly is a wonderful addition to scones at a tea party, or it can be used as the filling for thumbprint cookies/sandwich cookies.

Questions & Answers

Question: I made watermelon jelly, and I am waiting for it to harden. It still looks watery. What can I do?

Answer: When making watermelon jelly, it is important to use pectin for sugar-free recipes as it will create a more viscous jelly than regular pectin. Another step that can affect the ability of the jelly to form is the length of the boiling step. If your jelly has not formed after cooling on the counter, it is best to discard it and try again.

Question: When I make watermelon jelly, does it need to be canned?

Answer: If you are not going to can jelly, you will need to refrigerate it and use it within about a week of making the recipe. Canning preserves the jelly by creating a vacuum within the jar to prevent spoilage and makes the jelly shelf-stable.

Comments

Leah Lefler (author) from Western New York on September 22, 2011:

I'll post it when I make it! I did just post one on watermelon fruit leather (that was yesterday's project)! All of our watermelon (save one melon) is gone now. I love watermelon, but I have to say I am glad to see the last melon get used up!

olga khumlo from Mira Road Mumbai India on September 21, 2011:

Wow! Thank you.I'm looking forward for the recipe on pickles.

Leah Lefler (author) from Western New York on September 21, 2011:

I wish you were our neighbor, too, olgakhumlo: I'd give you a watermelon! :D

I hope it helps - I had watermelon jelly on toast the other day and it was a nice snack. I haven't ever tried the watermelon rind pickles before, so I have to look into making some and trying some... not sure if I'll like them, but it's always worth a try!

olga khumlo from Mira Road Mumbai India on September 21, 2011:

Hi Leah,I like this recipe and I'm sure gonna try it.Thanks for the tips on watermelon rind pickles too. I wish I was your next door neighbor!

Leah Lefler (author) from Western New York on September 19, 2011:

This was a recipe out of necessity - we have 2 Orange Tendersweet watermelons left (I think we had about 20 to start with, out of our tiny 4x4 bed) and I used the last Sugar Baby to make this batch of jelly. Even the neighbors are getting tired of receiving watermelons! I am going to make another batch tomorrow to get rid of the other two melons (it will be less colorful since the Orange Tendersweets are a pale orange color).

cardelean from Michigan on September 19, 2011:

I have all of the stuff ready to can the candy apple jelly and now you add this to the mix! I guess I'm going to have to get some more jars. :) I have never had watermelon jelly but it sounds delicious. My in-laws have a farm so there is no shortage of watermelon around here. Thanks for another great recipe.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 19, 2011:

Yum. My mouth is watering now. Next summer I will make some of this jelly. You have great recipe Hubs.

Leah Lefler (author) from Western New York on September 19, 2011:

It tastes really great! I grew Sugar Baby watermelons and Orange Tendersweet melons in our garden this year, and I have watermelons everywhere! I made some jelly out of some of the watermelons and it is really good. It even looks "sparkly" in the jars! You can make this without canning it, too - but you'll have to place it in the refrigerator and eat it within 2 weeks.

Rachelle Williams from Tempe, AZ on September 19, 2011:

Watermelon jelly sounds like something I would probably love, I'm filing this recipe under my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

Thelma Raker Coffone from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on September 19, 2011:

Excellent hub! I plan to try this recipe very soon. Thanks for sharing it.