Cantaloupe Jam

Cantaloupe jam on breadCantaloupe Jam is a low-sugar cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy. This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Pectin.

Allison says: “One thing to keep in mind in making this jam is that cantaloupe has much less acid than most other fruits. This means that this jam requires the addition of quite a lot of lemon juice to make it safe for boiling water bath canning. Please be sure to use the full quantity of lemon juice called for in the recipe. Using bottled lemon juice is highly recommended, as it has a standard level of acidity. If you choose to use fresh lemon juice, be sure to use standard, full-acid lemons.”

For Allison’s tips on working with Cantaloupe, read her complete blog post here.

Yield: 4 to 5 cups

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Cantaloupe Jam Ingredients

6¾ cups peeled, seeded, diced cantaloupe (1/2-inch dice)
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons calcium water
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder

Cantaloupe Jam Directions

1. Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.

Diced cantaloupe in bowl2. Combine the diced cantaloupe with the 2 Tablespoons of water in a sauce pan. Cover with a lid, and heat the cantaloupe on high for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cantaloupe has begun to release its juice. Then, reduce heat slightly and cook, still covered, at a low boil for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the cantaloupe. A potato masher works well for this.

cooked, mashed cantaloupe in bowl4. Measure out 4 cups of the mashed cantaloupe. (If you have extra, simply use it for something else.) Pour the measured amount of cantaloupe back into the sauce pan. Add lemon juice and calcium water and stir to combine.

5. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

6. Bring the cantaloupe mixture up to rolling boil over high heat. Add the sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jam to a boil, then remove from heat.

7. Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).

8. Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)

9. Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then remove jars from canner.

10. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Then confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.

Recipe and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

Read Allison’s Complete Blog Post Here.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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12 thoughts on “Cantaloupe Jam

    • Hello Kierden,
      This jam can be stored on the shelf, as long as the instructions for proper water-bath canning have been followed.

      The recipe developer also notes “One thing to keep in mind in making this jam is that cantaloupe has much less acid than most other fruits. This means that this jam requires the addition of quite a lot of lemon juice to make it safe for boiling water bath canning. Please be sure to use the full quantity of lemon juice called for in the recipe. Using bottled lemon juice is highly recommended, as it has a standard level of acidity. If you choose to use fresh lemon juice, be sure to use standard, full-acid lemons.”

      Happy jamming!

    • Hello Jon!

      Though we have not tested this recipe with honeydew ourselves, we cannot think of a reason why it wouldn’t work to sub the cantaloupe for honeydew.
      If you end up giving it a try we would love to hear how it turns out.

      Happy jamming!

      Kindly,
      Shelby

      • Thanks, I made a batch yesterday. My spouse likes it but pointed out that it tastes mostly of lemon. I also made a small batch using citric acid. When substituting citric acid for lemon juice, do I add extra fruit to make up the missing volume? I did not, and ended up with a firm but slightly sour jam.

        • You could add a bit more liquid since you already found that it comes out quite firm, but I wouldn’t add much more than 1/4 cup.

          Kindly,
          Shelby

  1. Can citric acid be used in place of lemon juice? If so, how much should be substituted? I use 1/2 tsp per quart of tomatoes to substitute for 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Would I be correct to assume 4 tsp for this recipe?

  2. Could I use 1/3 the sugar upfront to macerate the melon ahead of time in the fridge before cooking (the night before), then the remainder with the pectin, or would that mess up the recipe?

    • Dear Misha,
      It should be okay to do the maceration with 1/3 cup of sugar. And then you would be stirring the pectin into 2/3 cup of sugar.

      The minimum amount of sugar you want to stir 4 teaspoons of pectin into is 1/2 cup in order to have the pectin disperse properly through the fruit.

      When you macerate, that minimum amount to stir the pectin into is important to be aware of. The last FAQ in Section 5 of our FAQs gives you the table for minimum amounts of sugar or honey to stir the pectin into.

      Since we haven’t ever done the maceration of cantaloupe ahead of time, would love to hear how it turns out for you.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin — and happy jamming.

    • Hi Virginia,
      I tried to write back to you directly but the email was returned as undeliverable. I hope you’ll see the answer to your question here.

      Please take a look at the page Developing of Converting Recipes by clicking on the link above or going to the Learn Page on our website and scrolling down to “Get Creative.”

      If that page doesn’t help you/answer your questions, feel free to write back and include the complete recipe you are trying to convert and we will see if we can figure it out.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin — and happy jamming!

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