Instant Pot Watermelon Jam with Lemon and Rose Petals (without Pectin)
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In Greece, small pieces of watermelon rinds are preserved in a syrup we call this 'glyko karpousi', and many fruits can be preserved this way.
They’re actually called ‘glyko tou koutaliou’ or spoon sweet, and would be given to visiting guests on a small dish as a sign of hospitality, and always with a cold glass of water.
I have grown up with this tradition when visiting relatives, and it's so so good! Especially as every family makes it slightly different.
Spoon sweets are not recognised in British culture, and for a while I felt this element of my tradition and the flavours which reminded me of Greece was missing, until I developed this jam recipe and can be enjoyed everyday. So next time you buy a watermelon, save the rind and make this jam recipe!
1kg watermelon flesh
600g granulated sugar
1 large lemon, 2 strips of peel and the juice
15 dried rose buds, stalks removed (or 2 Tbsp dried rose petals)
Carefully cut the watermelon into small pieces and place the flesh in the Instant Pot bowl.
If your fruit has large seeds, many of these will float to the top after boiling and you can remove them with a spoon as much as you can. Small seeds I just leave them in.
Select sauté from the menu, add in the sugar, rose petals, 2 slices of lemon peel and half the lemon juice, then stir til dissolved.
Cancel sauté option then close the lid with the handle in sealing position and boil on high pressure for 10 minutes.
When times up, turn the handle to venting and leave to release pressure naturally.
Place a large spoon or small dish in the freezer for later.
When safe to open, remove the lid (it will be quite watery since the flesh has released all its water content), and either mash the contents with potato masher or carefully add to a food processor and lightly blend to break down the fibre.
Add the contents back into the pot (if blended), with the rest of the lemon juice and sauté on medium for 30 minutes then reduce to low for another 15-20 minutes or until the desired thickness is reached, taking care not to burn the sugar or else it will turn into a sticky caramel.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 160C and place the jars on a tray to steralise for 10-15 minutes.
To test if the jam is set, take the spoon or dish out the freezer, pour 1 tsp of hot jam in and freeze for 1 minute. Remove from freezer, it is ready when the surface wrinkles when the edge is pushed with a finger. If surface doesn't wrinkle, continue cooking and repeat test every few minutes.
Remove the lemon peel, then pour into your hot, sterilised preserving jars and tightly seal while still warm.
Check after a 6 hours or next day if the jar lids have collapsed inward. If they have, it means the suction has worked and your jars are ready for storage in the fridge or a cool dark place.
If the suction hasn't worked on some or all, you will need to repeat the process again by warming up the jam in a saucepan and the clean jars in the oven.
To steralise the jars, preheat the oven to 160C. Remove lids and put them in a bowl with boiling water for a few minutes, remove and dry with a clean cloth. Then place the empty jars on a baking tray and leave in the oven for 10 minues. When the jam is ready, very carefully remove the tray with the jars and use the funnel and ladel the jam in. Seal the lids immediately and leave to cool.
What to do if your jam doesn't set after 24 hours? It could be that you didn't boil it long enough. No worries, simply pop the contents back in to your pot and re-boil until it sets, checking again with the frozen plate test. If you want to be certain it's going to set the second time, you could also add some commercial pectin in with the second boil.
SERVE THIS WITH.
Watermelon flesh - is high in vitamin C - an antioxidant, carotenoids - which your body converts to vitamin A, Lycopene - an antioxidant which gives foods it's natural red colour, and Cucurbitacin E - a plant compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. (Source)
Lemon juice - will help preserve the jam but also bring a tartness to balance the sweet. They are also high in heart-healthy vitamin C and several beneficial plant compounds.(Source)
Rose petals - In ancient Greece, the rose was closely associated with the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Rose petals also contain a number of powerful antioxidants. (Source)
HAVE YOU MADE THIS?
Many of my recipes call for Greek products like Greek extra virgin olive oil, Greek honey or Greek oregano. It is not mandatory for it to be Greek in order to make the recipe, you are more than welcome to use a good quality alternative; just keep in mind if you are after the authentic flavours of Greece these details do make all the difference in Greek cuisine. You can shop these ingredients here.
Kindly note, by purchasing products via certain affiliate links in this post, I may receive a commission. This in no way increases the cost to you. I only recommend products based on my preferences to help you get the best results. Thank you for your support.
Disclaimer: None of the health benefits listed are intended to diagnose or treat any pre-existing health conditions. Always consult a health care practitioner before making any health decisions. The benefits listed are from my own research and personal interest, and encourage you to follow the Source and do further research.