Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Canning Cantaloupe Jam

Cantaloupe Jam
Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
The Husband and I have been eating a lot of fruit lately. Partly because it's so damned hot here and we tend to eat as simply as possible when the mercury rises as high as it's been. And partly because we're still both working on losing weight (update on that very soon, I promise). But mostly because the fruit is so incredibly good right now!

One of our current favorites is cantaloupe - particularly the "Tuscan Cantaloupes." Holy magnificent melons batman, those babies are fruit of the gods if ever there were such a thing. The melons we've been getting are so sweet and juicy, it's ridiculous. Neither of us can remember cantaloupes being this good for a long time.

So the other day, as we sat at our dining room table with melon juice down to our elbows, we were singing the praises of the 'Loupe and I said I wished there were a way we could get melon this good year-round (while abiding by our pledge to eat in-season produce, most of which is locally grown, of course).

Perhaps the heat had gotten to my brain, but it really did take me a while to remember that I already know all sorts of ways of preserve the harvest! Freezing, dehydrating, liqueurs, syrups, canning ... I can do it all. So I pulled out one of my favorite canning books, Blue Ribbon Preserves by Linda J. Amendt, and much to my sticky-fingered delight, found a recipe for cantaloupe jam. Neither of us had ever heard of melon jam before, and since I had yet to start canning this year, I decided this recipe would be my first of the season.

I just pulled 7 half-pint jars of the most delicious jam I've ever made from my canner and practically danced around my kitchen as I heard each of them ping (a sign they've made a proper seal and all is well).

So I'm happy to report that we've got some seriously kick-ass jam to carry us through the cold winter. Um, and by "cold" I mean less than 70 degrees ... this is San Diego, after all. I'm even happier to report that I still have plenty of melons left over so I can put up a whole other batch (or three) of jam if I want. Actually, that's probably a good idea because the likelihood of these seven jars remaining untouched 'til winter arrives is nil. And finally, I'm happiest to report that canning season has officially begun! I've got all sorts of wicked canning fun planned. In fact, just yesterday I scored some killer green tomatoes so I can put up some Green Tomato Mincemeat Pie Filling, which not only tastes awesome but I think will make for great holiday gifts.

That it's for now. I think I need an afternoon snack. Perhaps toast with ... oh, I don't know ... jam?


Anonymous said...

Great to see you posting again! And I *love* fresh summer fruit--sooooo good!


allularpunk said...

i'm not the hugest cantaloupe fan, but cantaloupe jam sounds amazing. i can just imagine it spread all over a biscuit or scone...mmm! i've just recently gotten into the canning craze, but i don't have a waterbath canner (bummer), so jams are not happening for me just now. soon, though, i hope!

For Our Family said...

I need the recipe! I just got buy 1 get 2 cantaloupes and can't find a recipes anywhere for jam. Please share!

Marni said...

Courtney - Thanks! I've had some family stuff going on, but I should be posting regularly again, now :) I love all the summer produce, too! It's one of the reasons I enjoy living in SoCal, because it's pretty much always summer here. LOL Great produce all the time!

allularpunk - Why don't you just DIY your own water bath canner? It's pretty easy to make 'em. In fact, maybe I should have that be on of my next DIY posts - "How to DIY Your Own Water Bath Canner." What do you think?

Ashley - While I don't post published recipes on my blog out of respect for the authors and recipe creators, I wouldn't mind emailing you the recipe. Leave me your email addy and I'll be happy to get the recipe to you. :) And you should think about purchasing Blue Ribbon Preserves - it's got lots of great recipes in it.

jessy said...

i got so happyfaced seeing your post, Marni! yay!

your cantaloupe jam looks super stellar! dan & i are up to our elbows in jalapenos and are thinking about canning some & making some hot pepper jelly, too. we don't own a canner though - and i need to get some jars 'n lids. i saw in your comment about a potential DIY canning post - i would be mucho interested in that, fo 'sho! having homemade canned goodies in the middle of winter has gotta be the best ever.

i'm also looking forward to your weight loss updates! excitedface!

Debra said...


Unknown said...

Would you post your Cantaloupe Jam recipe? It's been a great year here for melon and that would be a great way to use the overload.

renal girl said...

I have about 25 cantaloupes that are very ripe and I would be so grateful if you would email me your cantaloupe jam recipe! I wonder if you have thought of mixing it with any other fruit?
Thank you so much!