Melon Jam? with Tarragon? What is Tarragon anyway? You can use it in more than Béarnaise sauce? Is the jam any good?
Yes. Yes. An herb. Yes. Yes.
I understand your confusion. Melon is not the first fruit that comes to mind for jam making to me either. Sure, I have made Watermelon Rind Preserves, but I never thought of making jam from the actual fruity part. Like the Watermelon Rind Preserves, I got the idea from a book.
This recipe is from Home Made Summer by Yvette Von Boven.
I used cantaloupe to make this one, and I liked the citrus and tarragon accents. You can use any melon except watermelon (the water content is too high for proper gelling).
This jam is a great “starter” recipe for people that are new to jam/jelly making since it uses powdered pectin to gel. I have been making jam for quite a few years now. I am not any expert by any means, but I did add a few tips of my own to the recipe below, plus updated the ingredients (Jam Sugar is not easy to find here in the U.S.) as well as the instructions for canning for food safety.
You might want to read through these instructions on Ball’s Fresh Preserving site if you haven’t canned before. Don’t be intimidated, it is easy. Or, just put the jam in a container directly in the fridge.
Melon Jam with Tarragon
- 2 1/4 lb ripe melon cleaned and chopped
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 packet 1.75 ounce powdered pectin
- 1 orange halved and seeds removed
- 1 lemon halved and seeds removed
- 4 -5 tablespoons fresh tarragon finely chopped
- Put the melon, sugar and pectin in a large non reactive pot. Squeeze the orange and lemon, add juice and rinds to the bowl. Mix and let sit (macerate) for 1/2 – 6 hours.
- At least 10-15 minutes before cooking, place 2 metal teaspoons (tablespoons) in the freezer.
- Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- With your stirring spoon place a small amount of jam onto one of the frozen spoons and let it cool for about 15 seconds. If the jam is still too liquid, cook for another few minutes and retest another spoon.
- Remove the orange and lemon hulls and add the tarragon. Use an immersion blender briefly to blend in the herb.
- Immediately ladle the hot jam into sterilized jars to the 1/4 inch line. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
Until next time, happy eating.