Have you often wondered why you have to waste such a large portion of your watermelon by throwing the hard white "peel"
away because it's inedible? Well you can stop wondering, it isn't inedible, in fact it's rather tasty when prepared correctly. Those of you with sweet tooth's should really enjoy this! So you only have to throw the thin green skin away and even that makes good compost or so I've been told by gardening experts.
Waatlemoenkonfyt as Watermelon preserve is universally known as by Afrikaans and English speakers in South Africa has become a uniquely South African word appearing in South African English dictionaries.
Watermelon Preserve Ingredients
All the quantities are given in terms of the weight of white watermelon peel [rind] obtained
1 watermelon [you may use either preserving or ordinary watermelon: it's really up to you]
4 quarts [4 litres] water, for soaking
2 tbsp [30ml] slaked lime or bicarbonate of soda
1 lb sugar for every 1 lb watermelon peel [500g per 500g]
3 cups water for every 1 lb sugar [820ml per 500g]
Plus additional 3 cups water and 1 lb sugar [820ml and 500g] for every 3¼ lb [1½kg] watermelon peel to ensure you have enough syrup
2 tbsp [30ml] lemon juice per 1 lb [450g]
1 piece bruised fresh ginger per 1 lb [450g] peel
1 tsp [5ml] salt
To make the Waatlemoenkonfyt
Slice the melon and discard the soft flesh, or better still scoop it out and refrigerate to eat on it's own.
Thinly peel the hard green rind and discard. [As previously mentioned you could use it for your compost heap]
Cut the remaining peel into 2 inch squares, using a fork prick well on all sides and then weigh to determine needed quantities of other ingredients.
Soak the peel in lime solution for 2 days [for the preserving watermelon] or 14 to 18 hours for ordinary watermelon.
Pour the peel out into a colander and rinse well in running water. Soak in fresh water for 2 to 3 hours.
Fill a large saucepan ⅔ full with water and bring to the boil
Drain the watermelon and place pieces, one at a time, into the boiling water... Do NOT let the water go off the boil by adding pieces too rapidly. If you do your watermelon pieces will become gooey, or so I was assured by the elderly farm wife who gave me this recipe
Keep at a rolling boil, uncovered, until just tender. Test with a matchstick, which should be able to penetrate with resistance. [If you discover you need to add more water during the boiling process do so by adding boiling water from the kettle]
Add the sugar, water, lemon juice, salt and ginger to a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Heat over low heat. Stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to a rolling boil and place the peel in boiling syrup and boil rapidly until pieces are tender and translucent and syrup is thick.
Pack the watermelon pieces into hot, dry, sterilised jars, fill with the syrup and seal immediately.
You've always wondered why you had to throw so much of the watermelon away. What you're going to find out, is that this Watermelon Preserve is the best part. Especially if you like sweetness
Try your waatlemoenkonfyt with cheddar cheese at the end of a meal. Delicious!!
Waatlemoenkonfyt Recipe added February 20, 2012:
My Africhef African Recipes Cookbook is currently unavailable as I am revising it and re-writing it in Kindle format, meanwhile I suggest the following
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