How to Make Watermelon Jelly with Four Simple Ingredients
Sparkling Pink Watermelon Jelly
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: this delicious jelly makes a wonderful homemade gift. Watermelon jelly is also very easy to make, and is a wonderful first canning recipe.
Making watermelon jelly and canning it allows you to save summer in a jar. The flavor of watermelon jelly (or watermelon jam, as the recipe uses crushed fruit) is bright and sweet. Even those who don’t prefer the flavor of raw watermelon will like watermelon jelly!
The watermelon jelly recipe below will produce 4-5 eight ounce jelly jars of jam. Try using different varieties of watermelon to achieve different colors and flavors in the jam. The watermelon jam pictured below was made with a Sugar Baby watermelon.
Watermelon Jelly Ingredients
- 4 cups of chopped watermelon (or 2 cups of watermelon puree)
- 3 ½ cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 package of no-sugar pectin
Watermelon Jelly Equipment
- Pots and pans
- Boiling water bath
- 8 oz. jelly jars for canning
- Canning lids and rings
Prevent No-Sugar Pectin from Clumping
Watermelon Jelly Recipe
Set the jelly jars and rims out to prepare to can the watermelon jelly. Simmer lids according to the manufacturer’s directions and have the boiling water bath (canner) ready with boiling water.
Cut open and deseed a ripe watermelon. Roughly chop the watermelon fruit into squares, discarding the rind and seeds (the rind can be saved to make watermelon rind pickles, if desired). 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 watermelon puree. Pour 2 cups of watermelon puree into a large sauce-pot.
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.
Once the mixture has reached a rolling boil (a boil that won’t be stirred away), add the remaining 3 ¼ cups sugar. Stir vigorously until the sugar has dissolved into the jelly. 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.
Leave ¼ inch headspace, and apply the sterilized lids and rings. Place the jelly jars in the boiling water bath canner and process for 10 minutes. 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. Place any sealing failures into the refrigerator and use the jelly within 2 weeks.
Meanwhile, mix ¼ 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.
Uses for Watermelon Jelly
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 of watermelon jelly 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 thumb-print cookies/sandwich cookies.
Questions & Answers
I made watermelon jelly and I am now waiting for it to harden up. It still looks like water flowing. What can I do?
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.