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Not enough fruit to can it up?

 
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I have a couple of threads running about all the weird things I've been doing to watermelon rinds
Concept Cooking: Watermelon rind experiments: Spoiler alert: they worked WELL!
Concept Cooking: More watermelon abuse
I just made a post on one of them that might want to be it's own topic. Copying it here (with light editing.)

I'm still abusing watermelon rinds! I just did a batch up to be fake apple type things, with honey, lime juice (it's what I had) cinnamon, cloves, ginger and five spice, and a touch of salt. Marinating it till I get back to it. Think it's gonna be topping for one of my weird cheesecakes! Concept Cooking: Cheesecake

My deep thought for the day is people can up apple pie filling. And watermelon can taste like anything. Canning it up as apple pie filling might be good, but then I thought "maybe if you added one or two apples to just give it a bit more flavor, and stretch out not enough apples" .... that turned into "could use it to stretch out ANY fruit, can it up and have it over winter."

I don't know about you, but I'm not currently getting enough fruit to be canning it up, but if my fruit were stretched out with watermelon rind, flavored to go with whatever fruit I'm doing, that might be a REALLY cool use for it! Watermelon grows easy and each one makes a lot of rinds. So a random example is gooseberry, I'd put lime or lemon juice on it, sweetener, and maybe a light flavored spice like anise or fennel. I think that would make a pretty decent gooseberry pie filling! Adding a bit of rhubarb if you have it would make it even better :D

Interesting ideas to consider as you deal with your summer bounty, or lack of it. (I'm looking at you, blueberry plants! Get in gear!)
 
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you must have different watermelons from what we get here, ours have no rind to speak of, and when cooked taste strongly like pumpkin, I tried making a watermelon Jam, it was vile.. but I managed to rescue it by turning it into sweet chili sauce!
 
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That is a great idea, Pearl.

This sounds like it would make a great pie filling.

I've done something similar when I made watermelon rind preserves.  I had a lot of cucumbers, the overripe kind with big seeds. I cut around the seeds, throw the seeds away, and peeled the cucumbers then diced. I put them in with the watermelon rind. I could not tell the difference.
 
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I just eat it with the rest of the slice, right down to the skin, but my family, not so much.
This could be a good farmers market sale item, very unique.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Skandi Rogers wrote:you must have different watermelons from what we get here, ours have no rind to speak of, and when cooked taste strongly like pumpkin, I tried making a watermelon Jam, it was vile.. but I managed to rescue it by turning it into sweet chili sauce!


Skandi: Interesting!! I wonder what variety that is? The ones that are prevalent in the US have been bred to ship, I suspect, and half the time they have close to an inch of white rind, which does make them very shippable. And their rind a waste, unless you get weird with it :D
 
Skandi Rogers
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

Skandi Rogers wrote:you must have different watermelons from what we get here, ours have no rind to speak of, and when cooked taste strongly like pumpkin, I tried making a watermelon Jam, it was vile.. but I managed to rescue it by turning it into sweet chili sauce!


Skandi: Interesting!! I wonder what variety that is? The ones that are prevalent in the US have been bred to ship, I suspect, and half the time they have close to an inch of white rind, which does make them very shippable. And their rind a waste, unless you get weird with it :D



I did once candy some when I got one with thick skin, that was good. though I didn't actually get round to using it before it went soggy :(
 
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For us, small amounts of fruit gets turned into jelly.
 
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I make syrups and we put them on ice cream or pancakes or.... Mostly rhubarb right now, although I have 1.5 pint container of "failed" apricot jam, also a syrup.

My rhubarb syrup recipe is 1C sugar, 3/4C water, 1/2 - 1 1/2C diced rhubarb. Combine the sugar and water, heat until one color and no longer gritty, usually it's a simmer. (It will be steamy but not necessarily boiling.) Add rhubarb. Simmer until largest pieces fall apart.

Done.

I don't can, so if you're like my neighbor and do, do that. If I made too much of this to store in the fridge at once, I'd freeze it. I put the syrups in ball jars I've boiled to be sterile.
 
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John F Dean wrote:For us, small amounts of fruit gets turned into jelly.



I can second that. Especially you can combine many small amounts of different fruits to one multi-fruit jelly/jam.

If this is too much work and you want to think later, puree the fruit and freeze it in a container.
 
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I usually only have very small amounts of fruit, with the exception of tomatoes.

I will usually make very small batches ( a jar or three) of jam, or sometimes looser as a sauce to top pancakes, simple cake, or trifle as a dessert.

Apples I will usually make small batches of apple butter, which works really well in a pressure cooker pot.

I had an exceptionally great tomato harvest last year, and made 11 litres of green tomato jam, from the unripe tomatoes before winter descended in early October. One batch I mixed with berries I had, and a third batch was mixed with apples. I actually would make again with the apples and original- the mixed berries version was still okay but maybe the flavours compete so it is not such a clear flavour. Maybe picking just one berry, like JUST currants or JUST raspberries would be better.

Green tomato jam is  quite common here among particular communities ( French  influenced) but quite a novelty for most guests who are from other parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, or those few people we know with more anglophone Canadian/ American background. Most people visiting over the holidays sat there trying to guess the taste of what kind of special fruit jam I served them- something exotic! Is it maybe kiwi? lol.

Rave reviews and people are very surprised when you tell them it is green tomato! My in-laws have made many requests now that I please make it for them again. We also pickle the green tomatoes, to serve in mixed pickle, so it is a very versatile fruit lol.  
 
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Hah - Pearl, I skimmed this, and assumed you were talking about how to stretch watermelon rinds, if you don't have enough! If I get 2 grapefruit sized watermelons in total from my 4 plants this year, I'll count myself lucky.

Stretching fruit - I stretch by adding apple, which is cheap and plentiful in canning months. Zucchini is also good and gets substituted for a lot of things.

Sionainn- I love your green tomato jam idea. Sounds brilliant for when the tomatos just start to produce - and need to be picked before first frost. I'll have to try that this year.
 
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Some fruit can be frozen whole, which can be super quick and easy, especially for really small amounts!

Blueberries have been really great this way, and they taste like super flavorful mini blueberry popsickles when you get them out of the freezer and rinse them off for just a few seconds, and eat them fresh!
 
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Sionainn Cailís wrote:I had an exceptionally great tomato harvest last year, and made 11 litres of green tomato jam, from the unripe tomatoes before winter descended in early October. One batch I mixed with berries I had, and a third batch was mixed with apples. I actually would make again with the apples and original- the mixed berries version was still okay but maybe the flavours compete so it is not such a clear flavour. Maybe picking just one berry, like JUST currants or JUST raspberries would be better.

Green tomato jam is  quite common here among particular communities ( French  influenced) but quite a novelty for most guests who are from other parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, or those few people we know with more anglophone Canadian/ American background. Most people visiting over the holidays sat there trying to guess the taste of what kind of special fruit jam I served them- something exotic! Is it maybe kiwi? lol.

Rave reviews and people are very surprised when you tell them it is green tomato! My in-laws have made many requests now that I please make it for them again. We also pickle the green tomatoes, to serve in mixed pickle, so it is a very versatile fruit lol.  


Whoa! I just did a double-take reading this.

Recipe please!
 
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I'll back Douglas, Sionainn! Yes, please give us some ideas of the recipe you use. We frequently end up with extra green tomatoes and there's only so much Green Tomato Relish I can make use of! It sounds particularly good if you can mix the tomatoes with something else.
 
Sionainn Cailís
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:
Whoa! I just did a double-take reading this.

Recipe please!



Not sure how accurate, I checked my notes and I wrote for myself to use less sugar next time. This is the original how I wrote. I am not as much a fan of so sweet, so this year will start with 400 gr and see how it goes.

Confiture de tomates verte

1kg of firm green tomatoes
600 gr sugar
15-20 ml best vanilla liquid or use a scrape bean
2-3 lemons, juiced and use the grated rind (lemons vary a LOT in size here, sometimes they are very big, and sometimes they are tiny. or dry)

wash and quarter or cut smaller depending on size of tomatoes, toss with others, cook to jam consistency and jar.

For apple varient I used about 400gr sugar per kilo tomatoes and kilo peeled and diced apples. I think apples I used were likely spy apples, which are about my favourite for baked winter desserts.

I also made note to try other seasoning. This year I might make some variation with ginger. :)

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