Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sweet Cantaloupe Pickles

The cantaloupes this year are fantastic and we received two per CSA box last week (and since I have a double share, that equals 4!!) As much as we love cantaloupe, I didn't think that we could eat them all in time, so I turned to my trusted "Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving Book". This recipe is definitely a keeper and I can foresee us enjoying these sweet pickles either by themselves, over ice cream or with cake!! Just a note, you can prepare these pickles and simply refrigerate them ~ just make sure that you adjust the recipe accordingly to the amount that you feel you will eat in a couple of weeks!

1 cinnamon stick, broken into 4 pieces
2 whole cloves
1 tsp allspice
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
13 cups seeded, peeled cantaloupe (I cut mine with a melon baller, but you can also cube the pieces)
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • Tie cinnamon stick pieces, cloves, and allspice into a square of cheesecloth creating a spice bag.
  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water and spice bag. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Add melon to saucepan. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Stir sugar into cantaloupe mixture and return to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until melon becomes transparent, about 45 minutes. Discard spice bag.
  • Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids as usual if you intend to preserve the melons.
  • Pack cantaloupe into hot jars within a generous 1/2" of top of jar. Ladle hot syrup into jar and cover cantaloupe, leaving 1 cm (1/2" headspace). Wipe rim. Centre lid on jar and screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  • Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

If you intend to make and refrigerate these pickles for immediate use, ensure that they are eaten within a few weeks of preparation.


  1. That seems like alot of "cooking" for melon. Does it not just turn to mush?

  2. It did to me too Jess, but as you can see from the photo, the cantaloupe stayed in it's original 'ball' shape. I had worried about this too but thought if worse came to worse, I would have some cantaloupe sauce, but the melon is quite firm and not at all mushy ~ I believe it has a lot to do with the syrup somewhat replacing the water that leeches out of the fruit and it firms up the cells of the fruit...I'll have to look into science behind this more!