Prep 1 hr
Cook 2 hrs 9 mins
From the UW Extension Service. I plan to make using rice wine vinegar (5%) & diced crystallized ginger & lemon - omitting the other spices except perhaps for a pretty little fish pepper in each jar. Will also ice & salt the cantaloupe with pickling salt before dousing with the hot vinegar. **Select cantaloupe that are full size but almost fully green and firm to the touch in all areas including the stem area.
- 6 lbs cantaloupe, cut into one-inch cubes (about 3 medium under-ripe cantaloupe)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cinnamon sticks (one inch a piece)
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 1⁄2 cups cider vinegar (5%)
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups Splenda sugar substitute
- Day One:.
- 1. Wash cantaloupe and cut into halves; remove seeds. Cut into 1 inch slices and peel. Cut strips of flesh into 1 inch cubes. Weigh out 6 pounds of pieces and place in large glass bowl.
- 2. Place red pepper flakes, cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger in a spice bag and tie the ends firmly. Combine vinegar and water in a 4-quart stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat off. Add spice bag to the vinegar-water mixture, and let steep for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 3. Pour hot vinegar solution and spice bag over melon pieces in the bowl. Cover with a food-grade plastic lid or wrap and let stand overnight in the refrigerator (about 18 hours).
- Day Two.
- 4. Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.
- 5. Carefully pour off vinegar solution into a large 8 to 10 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Add Splenda; stir to dissolve. Add cantaloupe and bring back to a boil. Lower heat to simmer until cantaloupe pieces turn translucent; about 1 to 1-1/4 hours.
- 6. Remove cantaloupe pieces into a medium-sized stockpot, cover and set aside. Bring remaining liquid to a boil and boil an additional 5 minutes. Return cantaloupe to the liquid syrup, and bring back to a boil.
- 7. With a slotted spoon, fill hot cantaloupe pieces into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1- inch headspace. Cover with boiling hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.
- 8. Process in a boiling water canner. Pint jars 15 minutes (for elevations 0-1,000 feet) or 20 minutes (for elevations 1,001-6,000 feet). Let cool, undisturbed, 12-24 hours and check for seals.