Jam Melon - Citron
$3.00 for 10 seeds.
The Jam Melon is round with green and cream stripey type skin with a white coloured flesh that is dotted with red seeds. The flesh can be made into jams and pickles. Unlike the Watermelon, it is not eaten fresh, due to the blandness of the tasle. Like other melons, it is a frost sensitive plant, sowing after the danger of frost has gone in Spring.
Plant in an area with at least 6 hours of sun in mounds, 2-3 cm deep about 75cm apart and rows 1.5 – 2 metres apart. Ground watering is best to avoid powdery mildew early in the season. The fruits take about 80 -120 days from sowing to harvest and can be stored in a dry place for several months.
Melon and Lemon Jam
2 large (4kg) jam melons
3 medium (540g) lemons
2 litres (8 cups) water
8 cups (2kg) sugar
Cut melons in half, discard the seeds. Chop the flesh into small cubes and place in a large bowl. There should be 2kg of flesh.
Finely grate the rind from the lemons (1 ½ tablespoons rind). Cut lemons in half, remove and reserve the seeds. Peel away the white pith and chop the flesh. Place the pith with the reserved seeds in a piece of muslin and tie securely. Add the grated rind, lemon flesh, and water to melon cubes in the bowl, add the muslin bag , cover and leave overnight.
Transfer the fruit mixture to a large saucepan, bring steadily to the boil and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes or until melon is pulpy and becoming more transparent. Discard the muslin bag.
Add the sugar to the saucepan, stir over the heat without boiling, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring back to the boil and boil, uncovered for about 45 minutes or until jam jells when tested. (Most recipes will say not to stir, but I will do a gentle stir once in a while to make sure the bottom doesn’t catch).
Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. Notes: Put a saucer into the freezer and when the jam starts to form heavy drops off the wooden spoon, test it by putting some onto the saucer and
returning to the freezer for a few minutes. If it is of a spreadable consistency, then it is done. If not, continue cooking till it thickens more. Towards the end of the cooking time, you may have to skim the froth off the top of the jam.
Jars can be washed by hand or in a dishwasher, then sterilized in the oven at about 160C for 10 minutes or so. I usually take them out just before pouring the jam onto a tea-towel:- hot jam, hot jar; hot jam, cold jar not so good. A lot of recipes will say to cover when cold, I will pour right to the top, carefully wipe the neck then screw on the lid. As the jam cools and shrinks, it makes a suction
and the lid will pop downwards, perfectly sealing the jam. Once the jam is cool, label and date and put in a cool part of the pantry. Jam should keep up to a year, unopened. Opened, keep it in the fridge. If, for any reason, your lid bulges, toss that jar.