Saturday, August 27, 2011

Peach Melon Conserve

This is a jar of peach-melon conserve, our all time favorite condiment.  Although my recipe calls this a "conserve," it doesn't have the consistency of a jam, and we just call it "ice cream sauce." It is the perfect gift for any occasion and I'll give you a step by step tutorial on how to make it.

The melons we grow are not strictly a cantaloupe, but are a "Butterscotch" melon called "Serenade."  We buy the seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow, Maine.  Johnny's is an employee owned company and is a member of the Safe Seed Initiative.  As such they pledge to never knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered or modified seeds or plants.
Serenade is a smooth skinned melon with pale orange flesh.
Here's how:

In an 8 - 10 quart kettle, combine three cups chopped peaches with the chopped rind of one orange and two tablespoons of orange juice.  Use slightly under-ripe peaches for their higher pectin content.  Add three cups chopped melon and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
 Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and bring again to a full rolling boil. Boil uncovered for ten minutes.
Note that I am wearing a thick rubber glove
to protect my hand from the heat given off
by the boiling fruit.

Add 1/2 t. ground nutmeg and 1/4 t. salt and boil another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and quickly skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
Fill canning jars to within 1/2 inch of rim.

Use a clean damp cloth to clean the rim of the canning jar. 
Anything left on the rim could keep the jar from sealing during the canning process. 

Apply clean, brand new lids and tightly screw on the jar rings.

Use a jar lifter to place the jars into the basket of the water bath canner.
Process for ten minutes.
This recipe makes seven half pints of conserve.

Here we made a triple batch.  We filled twenty jars and processed three canner loads.  Nineteen of twenty jars sealed.  One did not and will need to be refrigerated until used. 
If you have never done water bath canning before, please refer to the "Ball Blue Book" guide to home canning and freezing.  Canning is not rocket science but neither is it foolproof. There is more to know than I can provide in this blog format so please don't risk spoilage or foodborne illness. 
You can also learn about water bath canning at

This recipe is also fantastic with traditional cantaloupe melon!


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