Watermelon Rind Pickles

July 4, 2010

This was my first blush recipe for Watermelon Rind Pickles. I still might make some adjustments to it, but I made these and sold out at the Farmer’s Market, so I might have just hit the mark. Try these out and see what you think! This recipe yielded 6, 16 oz jars with a few rinds left over for tasting.
6.5 lbs Watermelon Rind
3 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar
3 Cups White Vinegar
3 Cups Water
1.5 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Large Lemon sliced into very thin slices
1 oz Fresh Ginger sliced thin
2 Tsp Allspice Whole
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Tsp Clove Whole
Prepare the rind by cutting the red flesh away, leaving just a bit on for color and peeling the green outside skin away. Cut the rind into 2 inch chunks (a bit like pickles). Place into a large non-reactive bowl and add 3 Tbsp salt to the rinds and cover with ice cubes. Let this sit for at least 2 hours adding more ice as it melts. Drain this mixture very well and rinse several times. Using a large dutch oven, place the rind in the pot and add water to cover–this water is not mentioned in the ingredients above. Simmer the rinds for about 15 minutes, then drain by pouring through strainer. Bring the empty Dutch Oven back to the stove and add all of the ingredients above, bring this mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the watermelon rind and continue to simmer until the rind becomes a bit translucent. For me this took an additional 20 minutes–keep checking and stirring as it might take you less time depending on how think/large your pieces of rind. The liquid should turn into a very thin syrup. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Prepare your 16 oz canning jars, pack the jars, splitting up the ginger and spices evenly as you can between them. Process these in boiling water bath for 20 minutes. I think I might like to add some mustard seeds for interest and depth of flavor next time.