Message from the Gardener: Part 2 Citron Melon

Another fruit we grew in our garden last year was the citron melon. At one time this melon was widely grown in Canada and was a popular fruit because it was so flavourful when eaten fresh. Citron has a tough outer rind and will keep for several months indoors – even at room temperature. I kept mine in the basement from late Sept. until early Jan. and they did not go bad. Note that the Citron Melon is not related to or anything like the Citron Peel you can buy in the store.
So what to do with Citron Melons? The solution was to make some preserves. When I started I found out just how tough the rind was and needed a carving knife. Once cut open, the melon has red seeds evenly distributed throughout the fruit. It took some time to remove the seeds and cut the melon into bite size pieces.
There are various recipes available for citron preserves but they usually involve mixing fruit with ginger, lemons and sugar. I tried 3 different recipes with the following results:
Recipe 1 – treated the citrons like pickles. The melon pieces were soaked in brine for a day and drained and rinsed several times. Then they were boiled in a mix of sugar, lemon juice and lemon pulp with ginger root. The end product was a nice yellow colour with chunks of solid fruit.
Recipe 2 – The melon pieces were boiled in a mix of sugar, lemon juices and ginger root and toward the end crushed pineapple was added. This mixture carmelized quite a bit and did not have many chunks of fruit – everything was reduced to a pulpy mass.
Recipe 3 – Again the melon pieces were treated like pickles as above. After this they were boiled in a mix of sugar, cinnamon stick and cloves. This made for quite a different flavour.
Because citron melon has so much pectin in it, all these products are very thick and have a firm set.
Come by on Sunday, May 9th to sample these products at our annual Mother’s Day Tea!

Comments

  1. Gwen Cumpstone says:

    I’ve read your comments on the citron (looks like a small watermelon with greenish white flesh that was once used in preserves) I’ve been looking for this for a LONG time. Can you tell me how to get my hands on some seed? thankyou for your time.. Gwen

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