Introduction: Candied Watermelon Rinds
After a week of watermelon recipes, I'm left with a huge amount of rind!
This candied watermelon rind is fairly easy - though there is a lot of waiting!
Step 1: Ingredients
- About 4 cups of watermelon rind (you can't use small melons for this, their rinds are too thin)
- lots of water
- 1/4 c salt
- 2 c. sugar (plus some extra for coating)
- 1 lemon (peel only)
Other things you will need
- a big pot
- veggie peeler / knife
- a bowl or jar large enough to hold your watermelon rinds, plus some water
- cooling racks
- cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper
Step 2: Prepping the Rinds
First is peeling all the green off of your rinds. I use a veggie peeler to get the bulk of it, and then a thin blade knife to trim it up some.
You don't want a lot of green color on your rinds. It should look like the right side of the rind in the top picture - not the left side! It's okay to leave some of the pink on your rind. It makes it prettier when they're finished.
I cut mine into short strips, but you can cut yours into longer strips, chunks, or whatever else you wish. -- However, strips are easier to lay across a cooling rack without falling through the wires.
Step 3: Preboiling
Put your rinds into warm water, and bring them to a boil.
Boil them about 5 minutes - it doesn't matter if they're cooked all the way at this point.
After 5 minutes, drain them and allow them to cool.
Step 4: Brine
Mix 1 quart of water and 1/4 c. salt.
Add your rinds to the brine mixture and allow to soak for at least 6 hours (I did say there was a lot of waiting)
Step 5: More Boiling
Drain your rinds - cover them with water - gently mix them around, then drain them again. Repeat 3 more times.
(not rinsing enough will make your candy salty)
Once they're all rinsed, add them to the pot and cover them with water again. Bring to a boil and cook until tender.
Drain and set aside.
Step 6: Candying Time!
Now, in your pot, combine 2 c. sugar, 1 1/4 c. water and the peel of 1 lemon. Cook until this reaches the "soft ball stage"
If you don't have a candy thermometer, cook until the liquid forms a squishy ball when dropped into cold water.
Once your sugar reaches the correct temperature, add your watermelon rinds.
Make sure to stir this to keep them from burning.
Step 7: Drying... and Waiting.
Once the sugar syrup gets thick and starts to form long, sticky threads - transfer the rinds to a cooling rack. (putting the racks over something - like a cutting board - is good idea!)
Let the rinds dry until they're still tacky to the touch, but not wet. I let mine sit overnight. If you try and coat them in sugar too soon, it'll cake on.
Step 8: Pour Some Sugar on Me
Carefully coat each piece in sugar. Only do a few pieces at a time, or they'll stick together.
Once coated, lay them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment (or waxed) paper. These can be eaten now - but if you're going to store them or wrap them for a gift, you'll need to wait overnight again for these to finish drying completely.
** drying times may change with where you live, the temperature in your house, etc.