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22 September 2009

Watermelon and Pecan Jam – Fabulously Moldovan?

Watermelon and Pecan Jam

Although, this entire month is dedicated to Lebanon and all its glory, I must interrupt the regularly scheduled programming with a jamming post that doesn’t have a lot to do with any particular country, as far as we are aware, that is.

My dad’s wife is Moldovan and has an impressive recipe box. She’s inspired me many-a-times. This specific recipe comes from her; she got it from her mother; who got it from her mother; But, it’s not Moldovan. It’s not a national recipe, that is. Does anyone know anymore on this topic?

Anyway, this recipe is also good if you’re  big on food recycling. It uses all bits of the watermelon down to the seeds, helping you minimize food wastage. If the seeds are from a very ripe watermelon, they can be dried and planted. They are also edible; bake them for about 20 minutes first. So, That’s what drew me to it, initially. Then Alina mentioned adding pecans. At which point, I did a twirl, cried, drooled, and drooled. Then I said can we also add mint; I think mint will also compliment it. Then, like Thelma and Louise we got in the car and scoured the village for watermelon.

We picked up a 14kg watermelon (actually it was more like lifting) and got down to the jam.

Watermelon and Pecan Jam

Watermelon and Pecan Jam - Fabulously Moldovan?
 
Ingredients
  • A whole watermelon
  • Pecans
  • Mint
  • Sugar
  • Atr- if you can find

Instructions
  1. Cut the watermelon in half
  2. Then to quarters
  3. Place the quarters skin side up and slice into 2cm half-moon slices.
  4. Remove the fruit. It will not be used in this recipe. If you find you have to much and don’t know what to do with it, then freeze it in large chunks. It can be used later in cocktails and smoothies.
  5. Now take the core and peel off the hard green skin. discard the skin.
  6. This is what you will be left with. The white part of the watermelon or the rind.
  7. Now slice into julienne cuts.
  8. Add  all the sugar
  9. and mint
  10. and let it sit for 4 hours or overnight. This will help release all the juices and infuse the mint.
  11. Remove the fresh mint and place all the ingredients in a large preserving pan. If you want more of a minty flavor then add some dried mint at this stage. Bring to a boil, stirring very often. Skim off any foam, with a metal spoon. Then lower the flame and let it simmer until it thickens. Then add the pecans in the last 10 minutes. The whole cooking process will take about 45-50 minutes. If you find it too syrupy, then remove some of the syrup and reserve it for use later in cocktails and smoothies.
  12. When the jam is finished, set aside till tepid then ladle into sterilized jars.
  13. I pictured this with cheese; it reminds me of when my grandmother made my school tartines from arabic bread filled with cheese and jam. God rest her soul. It’s funny how some things stick, like jam!

 

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26 thoughts on “Watermelon and Pecan Jam – Fabulously Moldovan?

  1. Wow i’ve never thought of watermelon jam. How unusual. I specifically like the fact of making it into syrup and freezing the flesh for later use. Will try this very soon.

  2. Lovely pictures. I’m loving the colours and you’re blog. I came across you from tastespotting. I’m looking forward to trying out some of you recipes especially lebanese. I love lebanese food!

  3. This is an old southern receipe (Watermelon Rind Preserves) that my grandmother taught me and has been passed down for generations prior. Supposedly the slaves made this to be able to use all parts of the watermelon. You do everything the same as you did for your jam except the ratio of watermelond rind to sugar is approximately 1 cup rind to 1/2 cup sugar, and whole cloves are added (approx. a dozen cloves for a whole watermelon’s worth of rind. These are the only 3 ingredients. The rind is cut into chunks instead of strips and is not soaked overnight, but immediately cooked down with a slow simmer for a few hours until the rind becomes clear and chewy and it develops a nice syrup. It reduces a great deal as it cooks down. Typically a whole watermelon rind will yield 4-5 half pint jars of the greatest tasting watermelon rind preserves you would ever want to taste.

    Anyway, this is how it was passed down to me, and I will certainly try your recipe, because life’s too short not to try something different cuisine-wise! Thanks for your post!

  4. I always like trying different and unique recipes. I think this would be unusal and memorable thing to serve when guests are staying over.

  5. Ooh this is so serendipitous! I have something similar that I’ve been waiting to make this Summer but it’s Croatian! 😀

  6. Sounds absolutely lovely. Just came across your blog. You have a lot of interesting recipes I’m excited to try. I’ve just discovered Lebanese food. We have this great restaurant here in Bristol called the Sands Restaurant. I’ve been there a few times now and I’m hooked. I love the kefta, tabouli and fattoush salad.

  7. I’ve had watermelon syrup before drizzled over pancakes was absolutely delicious. I imagine the jam should taste quite extraordinary as well!

  8. Wow. This is great stuff Bethany and i love the pictures! Never had watermelon jam before but it sounds great. Everything looks so pro-blogger around here. Big congrats to you!

  9. I’m from Moldova originally and I’ve never heard of this recipe. Because I don’t like the sweet top part of the watermelon, I particularly love putting these rinds to use for a whole “nose to nose” watermelon concept. My parents would often pickle watermelon in the summer; it’s fantastic and I have to find the recipe, but this one is very new to me. Thanks for sharing!

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