While there are a few good watermelons out there, this is a good pickle to make right now. Many people throw away the rinds, but I think once you try these pickles, you will never throw the rind away again. This takes some time, but is well worth the time you put into it. This recipe is cut down so that you only make a couple of jars. One of my “try it” recipes that I give to friends when I am trying to get them to try something new.
4 cups of peeled watermelon rind, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup pickling salt
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 lemon, sliced thinly
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice berries
2 cinnamon sticks, about 3 inches each
Place the watermelon in a large bowl. Dissolve the salt in the water and pour over the rind.. Let stand for about 4 hours and then drain and rinse twice.
Place rind in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and allow to boil gently for about 8 minutes (Just until just tender, not mushy). Drain and place in a large bowl. Combine 1 cup sugar, vinegar, Lemon, cloves, allspice and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the rind. Place a plate over the rind to keep it submerged. Let stand for 24 hours.
Drain liquid from the bowl into a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a boil. Pour over the rind. Replace plate to keep rind submerged. Let stand 24 hours.
Drain liquid into a saucepan and add 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a boil. Add rind and spice and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pack into hot jars. Place one cinnamon stick in each jar and pour liquid over rind in jars, within 1/2 inch of top. Wipe rims and place lids on top, screw on bands and place in canner. Process for 10 minutes, then cover and let sit in hot water for an additional 5 minutes. Remove to rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Makes 2 pints.