Thursday, September 08, 2011

Cantaloupe Pickles

No, this is not your traditional pickle.  It is similar to pickled watermelon rind, and like that Southern staple, would be a great summery touch in your holiday relish tray.  Try it and see....

Cantaloupe Pickles
Makes about six pint jars.

1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
13 cups cubed (1 inch) seeded peeled cantaloupe
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Take a square of cheesecloth and tie up cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice into a spice bag.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water and spice bag.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Add melon to saucepan.  Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Stir sugar into cantaloupe mixture and return to medium high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until melon becomes transparent, about 45 minutes.  Discard spice bag.

Pack cantaloupe into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar.  Ladle hot syrup into jar to cover melon, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot syrup.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until fingertip tight.

Process in a hot water canner for 20 minutes. Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

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