Late summer ushers on the time of year when neighbors begin late night covert missions to unload the excess from their gardens onto their neighbors porches. Tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, handfuls of herbs, and for those lucky few, melons!
Melons have had quite the renaissance of late. No longer secluded to a fruit salad, melons are finding their way to our tables, picnic spreads, and platters in many new and exciting ways.
This cantaloupe jam is a great way to re-imagine fruit spreads. It’s a versatile recipe, too. It does not take hours of cleaning, prep work, or straining out seeds like other jams and jellies. The finished product is delicious in traditional uses for a jam, but also exciting when spiced up with mint, basil, or crushed red pepper! Throw it on a scone, muffin, or toast, or enhance a cheese board or fun appetizer.
Cantaloupe Fridge Jam
- 4 cups finely diced cantaloupe
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon powdered pectin
- 1-2 Tbsp. finely chopped mint
- 1-2 Tbsp. finely chopped basil
- ⅛ - ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- Dice cantaloupe just a tad larger than you want the prices to be in the final product. Unlike most fruits, the cantaloupe will hold up pretty well throughout cooking, so if your initial pieces are too big, you’ll end up with chunky jam. A very ripe cantaloupe will break down more than one that is not as ripe.
- Bring cantaloupe and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, mashing lightly with a potato masher or slotted spoon to get craggy edges on the pieces.
- Add sugar and lemon juice, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to ensure you don’t have anything burning to the pan. Cook and stir until mixture is thick, 15–20 minutes.
- Next, add in honey, salt, and pectin and boil vigorously, stirring continuously for 2 minutes.
- Let cool until you can safely handle the product. Then, transfer jam to 4 clean glass jars. Add mint to one jar, basil to another, and red pepper flakes another, and leave one "plain," giving you 4 unique final flavors. Give a stir to the jams with add-ins, cover and chill.