Watermelon Jam

watermelon-public domainWatermelon 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.

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.

Watermelon Jam Ingredients

4 cups watermelon puree (use a seedless watermelon or see Step 2 below)
4 teaspoons calcium water
½ cup lemon juice
¾ cup up to 2 cups sugar
3½ teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder

Watermelon Jam Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. If watermelon is seedless, puree fruit to a pulp in blender or food processor. If watermelon has seeds, remove the seeds prior to pureeing.

3. Measure puree into sauce pan.

4. Add calcium water and lemon juice, and mix well.

5. Measure sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sugar. Set aside.

6. Bring fruit to a full boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

7. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

If you want to make jelly with only the juice of the watermelon, see our Watermelon Jelly recipe.

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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18 thoughts on “Watermelon Jam

  1. This sounds delicious! I am a very cautious canner and as far as I knew watermelon couldn’t be canned safely. Do you have a test kitchen that this recipe has been tested in? I don’t mean to be doubtful but I’m just looking out for my families safety. Thank you in advance for your response.

    • Hello Tina,

      Thanks so much for reaching out. We have not had this recipe tested in a test kitchen. All of our recipes are prepared to meet USDA and FDA standards, to the best of our knowledge, but they are also provided as a courtesy to our jammers, and we encourage our customers to test their preserves’ pH to ensure that it is safe for canning.

      Happy jamming!

  2. I find this idea intriguing…
    I’m just curious, before I go ahead and make this, what use does the watermelon jam have? Do you serve it on toast? As a condiment? With a cheese board? What does it’s flavour lend itself to?

    • Hello Leah,

      It is a bit peculiar isn’t it? We have had customers mention that it is delightful over frozen yogurt or ice cream, on top of their breakfast yogurt or on pancakes…and is a wonderful addition to a summer charcuterie plate.


  3. I would like to try making this as it sounds yummy! Would I be able to substitute some of the sugar with agave syrup?

    • Hello Cat,

      You absolutely can, in our experience agave tends to measure like honey, so you will be adding about 1/2 cup agave and 1/4-1/2 cup of sugar…or up to 1 cup of sugar if desired.

      Happy jamming!

    • Hello Ellen,

      Thanks so much for reaching out to us here at Pomona’s Pectin. We would recommend…

      2 cups watermelon puree
      2 cups mashed kiwi (Remove skin; mash fruit.)
      4 teaspoons calcium water
      ½ cup lemon juice
      ¾ cup up to 2 cups sugar
      3½ teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder

      and then follow the Watermelon Jam recipe as directed.

      Happy jamming!

    • I did, I weighed the ingredients out twice and processed, both resulting in unset jelly till refrigerated.

      I even tried a third batch with double the Calcium Water and Pectin Powder and got the same result, still would not set till put into the refrigerator.

      Anyone have any ideas as to why? pH? Sugar content?
      I’m at sea level so we can take that variable out too!

    • Dear Karen,
      Glad you liked the Watermelon Jam. We ourselves have not experimented with different spices in the jam.

      But Renee Joslyn of Freakin Flamingo, a jam manufacturer in Florida who uses Pomona’s Pectin, recently shared her recipe for Spicy Watermelon Jam on her blog. We haven’t made this recipe ourselves, but it looks good to us!

      Some other ideas would be to substitute lime juice for the lemon juice in the recipe; or to replace 1/4 cup of the watermelon puree with light rum to make it like a watermelon daiquiri. Another possibility would be to add some peppermint extract. We’d recommend 1/2 teaspoon up to 1 teaspoon per 4-cup batch. We haven’t done any of these things.

      If you try any of these things, we would love to hear what you do and how you like it!

    • Dear Rebecca,
      Watermelon is actually a member of a plant family related to cucumber, squash, and pumpkin. So that is where we think the “squashy” (we like that word!) smell must come from. The kitchen didn’t smell like squash after making the jam, but we have noticed that there can be a “squashy” smell when you open a jar of the jam. Looking at your blog, I’m guessing you grew your own watermelons?

      Here is a link to the Watermelon Board, which hosts Watermelon.org. This link is to the page on their website called Watermelon 101.

      Glad you like the taste — and keep on jamming!

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