Fully ripe watermelons that have a soft red flesh should be used for making jelly. The juice is
extracted from the fruit and used to make a jelly, rather than a jam (jams contain pieces of
fruit pulp whereas jellies are made from fruit juice). Watermelons contain little natural
pectin so pectin has to be added to ensure the jelly will have a good set. Other fruits that are
high in pectin, for example apple, rind of passion fruit, can be mixed with the watermelon
juice if commercial pectin is not available. Watermelon juice is not very acidic (pH above 5.0)
which is too high to make a good jam or jelly. Jams give a gel when there is the correct ratio
of pectin to water and the pH is between 2.5 and 3.45 pH. The optimum pH to give a good
gel is pH 3.0. Therefore citric acid has to be added to the recipe to reduce the pH and
increase the acidity of the juice. The yield of usable fruit from the whole fruit is
Figure 1: Three glass jam jars of Water melon
Preserves by Issraa El-Kogali, Sudan
74% (starting recipe
55% before boiling)
Wash whole fruit in clean water and discard any bad part of the fruit.
Remove the skin from the melon, cut the flesh into small pieces and remove the seeds. Mash
the pieces into a pulp and strain through a muslin cloth.
Mix the pectin with a small portion of the sugar. This dry mixing of the pectin is important
because pectin powder is very difficult to dissolve in water because it clumps together. If it
is still a problem to dissolve, grind the sugar to a fine powder and then mix it with the pectin.
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