Note: The most important thing about this jam is to get the sweetest tasting melon. The sweeter the melon the less sugar is required. It should not be overripe as melon will loose its flavor and will be mushy.
Cantaloupe Pineapple Jam
4 cups diced cantaloupe
2 cups crushed or small diced pineapple (you can used canned)
1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
1/4 cup pineapple juice, orange juice, or water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pectin: 3 1/2 T. Ball Low sugar pectin or
4 t. Pomona pectin with 4 t. calcium water or
1 box sure-jel no sugar pectin
Preparation: Prepare 5 half pint jars in hot water. Using knife cut cantaloupe in half and using a spoon scoop out the seeds. Cut the melon in half again and using a pairing knife cut away the melon from the rind. Cut into smaller pieces for the jam. Cut fresh pineapple into small dice or you can use the canned crushed adding the juice as well. You will be using your 1/4 cup of juice at the bottom of the pan so you don't scald the cantaloupe.
Cooking: In a stainless steel pot combine cantaloupe, pineapple and juice/water and cook on medium till cantaloupe starts to break down a little, about 10 to 15 minutes at a simmer. Add the vanilla bean by splitting it lengthwise with a knife and adding it to the pot. Stir in the vanilla then add 1 cup of sugar. Continue to heat for10 minutes. With a clean spoon taste the mixture remembering to let it cool on the spoon. If the jam is not sweet enough add the additional 1/2 cup of sugar. If it is sweet to the taste then bring the jam to a boil and then add the pectin. You will boil the jam stirring constantly for one minute.
Remove from heat.
Processing: Ladle jam into hot, sterilized half pint canning jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Remove air bubbles and refill if necessary. Wipe rims, and add hot lids and rings. Place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.
Sealing: Sometime in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.
|Black flecks are the pods from the vanilla bean|