Friday, July 27, 2018


As I always say, jams, marmalades, and spreads are always a nice breakfast alternative when you don’t have much time, or when you simply want to have a sweet breakfast. And this lovely jelly is fantastic on a lightly buttered piece of toast with a cup of black coffee. The jelly itself is quite easy and straightforward to make, requires very little involvement, yet guarantees maximum flavour. With the vanilla and citruses, it tastes like a cross between candied melon and lemon boiled sweets.
Other than honeydew melon and sugar, this jelly is embellished by lemons, oranges, vanilla, as well as melon vodka. And although I have decided to keep it very simple ingredient-wise, it really pairs very well with other spices, especially ginger or cardamom. Do not omit the lemon and orange juices, because other than the bit of pectin they add, their tartness balances out the sweetness from the added sugar. I used the golden honeydew, but you can use a regular honeydew melon, they are both naturally very sweet and fragrant.

1 kilogram honeydew melon
500 grams granulated sugar
1 orange, juice only
1 lemon, juice only
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
50 ml melon vodka

Carefully cut the melon in half, and remove and discard the seeds. Slice each half into three slices, and remove the skin from each one. Chop the melon into large cubes, and place them in a large nonreactive pot, sprinkle on the granulated sugar, mix gently, then let the fruit macerate about 3 hours. When you are ready to make the jelly, pour all of the contents into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add in the freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice, and place the pot over high heat.
Once the mixture is at a rapid boil point, continue cooking, stirring constantly, for about 25-30 minutes or until the jelly has reached 105ºC (220ºF), and has set. It is best to clip a thermometer to the side of the pot while the jelly is still cooking, because, depending on your stove, it can reach the setting point much earlier than 25 minutes.
At this point, you can purée the jelly to make it completely smooth, or you can leave it with bits of fruit, it is up to you. Remove the pot from the heat, add in the vanilla and the vodka, and mix well. After about 5-10 minutes, carefully pour the jelly into sterilized jars, and let it cool down completely. Keep the jelly refrigerated, and use it up within 2 weeks. Yields 700 grams of jelly.

Author’s note: You can test to see if the jelly is set and ready by placing a small amount of it on a chilled plate. Wait for it to cool down, then slightly tilt the plate. If the jelly doesn’t move, or it slides very slowly, it should be done. You can gently touch the surface, too – it should slightly wrinkle if the jelly is ready.