Lime and Ginger Melon Jam Recipe

Confiture de Melon au Gingembre et Citron Vert

[Lime and Ginger Melon Jam]

The truly magical thing about making your own jam is that they tell you to store the jars in a cool and dark place for a few months, to let the flavors develop fully. Oh sure, it is something of a heartbreak at first – you would so like to keep it close to you and dip the occasional finger in – but you know to be reasonable, you’ve been told to act like a grownup, so you relinquish and stash them at the back of a kitchen cabinet.

And life goes on, of course. Summer draws to a close, and fall, then winter, come and go with their own share of distractions and sweets and excitement. And all of a sudden, without a warning, spring is back! And you clean up the house! And the kitchen cabinets! And what do you find in there, all but forgotten, sitting side by side, cuddled up in the back? Your lovely lovely jars of summery jams.

And the following morning, it is with a renewed joy and high expectations that you pop open a jar of lime and ginger melon jam, and spread it generously on a big slice of bread.

Mmmmmm. So sweet and fragrant, so spicy and warm, with candied bits of ginger and lime peel, like tiny gems.

Well worth the wait.

Confiture de Melon au Gingembre et Citron Vert

– a 1 kg melon, ripe but firm
– 70 g fresh ginger
– 1 organic lime
– 150 g sugar
– 150 g crystallized sugar

(Makes two jars.)

Clean two jars thoroughly, pour boiling water on them and their lids, and leave them to dry upside down on a clean kitchen towel.

Cut the melon in halves, spoon out the seeds and strings. Using a melon baller or a spoon, scoop out the flesh in smallish pieces. Peel the ginger and cut it in small matchsticks. Clean and scrub the lime, use a microplane grater to get the zest, then cut it in two and squeeze the juice.

Put the melon pieces in a large saucepan with the ginger, lime zest, lime juice and sugar. Combine well with a wooden spoon, then cover and let rest for two hours, stirring from time to time.

Put the saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes over high heat, stirring often. Remove the melon pieces with a slotted spoon, and cook the syrup for another 5 minutes, until thickened.

Put the melon back into the syrup, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir, pour in the jars and close the jars tightly. Store in a cool dark place or the refrigerator for a few months.

(Adapted from a recipe originally published in ELLE.)

Important disclaimer! This jarring method (boiling the jars then closing them tightly and letting them cool upside down) is one that’s been commonly practiced in France for generations and generations. However, using a sterilizing machine and rubber-lidded jars is the only way to be absolutely safe. For more information on home-canning, click here.

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  • My goodness, that sounds AWESOME. *prints recipe*

  • brooke

    Sounds lovely. What type of melon did you use? Honeydew? Canteloupe?

  • boreal

    Did you hot water bath process those jars/jams? Or just let them cool and that sucked in enough to form a seal on the jars?

  • salmonista

    Sounds wonderful, but what is the difference between “sugar” and “crystallized sugar”? Is one larger crystals than the other? If so, they will both melt anyway. I’m confused here. Please help.

  • Rappy – Cool, let me know what you think if you make it!

    Brooke – I used a French melon, not sure the name of the variety, but the outside is a light shade of green, and the flesh is pale orange. But I’m sure any variety of melon would work : honeydew is green, right? That would make for a pretty jam!

    Boreal – I’m a bad girl and I don’t water bath process my jams. Some recipes tell you to let them cool upside down, but I just fill them up as much as I can, close them, and hope for the best! From what I understand, the amount of sugar preserves the fruit and I don’t think (but may be wrong) that there’s much risk of intoxication with just fruit and sugar. Anyone has any words of wisdom about this?

    Salmonista – Crystallized sugar (“sucre crystallisé”) is a special kind of sugar. It has bigger crystals, which helps the jam “set”. You can probably find an equivalent in your grocery store, it probably has a jar of jam pictured on the front. But if you can’t find any, just substitute regular sugar, it’ll work fine too.

  • Clotilde,

    You’ve made a terrible mistake! That’s my jam! See I left it in the back of your pantry this summer when I visited Paris. True, we didn’t know each other then, and it was rather strange that I was in your house making jam, but that’s not the point. The point is you really should ship it back to me here in the states. It’s the right thing to do.


  • boreal

    I was just curious is all… in the US everyone is huge on appropriate sterilization, but its not such a big deal in europe and people have been doing it for generations and been just fine with their traditional ways.

  • Adam – Oooooh, that guy was you? Well, it’s a small world after all! (Ha ha, now you’ll all have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day! :) I’m afraid the jam won’t ship well, but you’re more than welcome to my house again (you know how to get here already), I’ll make you toast!

    Boreal – I absolutely agree, and will stick to the “hope for the best” strategy because it’s way easier and doesn’t require the purchase of (yet) an(other) appliance! :) From what I understant, the sugar works as a fine preservative here, but I think sterilization can’t be skipped for other goods, like when you can veggies or meat…

  • John Chypre

    Observe the jar pictured in the recipe; it’s a WECK, by far the best & about the only one I use. They also make a hot water canner with a thermostat which is the best. I would process this jam in that size jar in a WECK canner about 20 min. WECK also has a website. Best, John Chypre, near the village of Peacham in Vermont.

  • John – Absolutely, it is one of my lovely Weck jars! Most of the time I just use jars recycled from store-bought jams and condiments, but these do add a special old-fashioned look that I adore. Thanks for pointing me to the website (!

  • Audrey

    I’ve made this jam, and peeking at it the other day, I see melon and ginger still looking rather solid, and holding their shapes. Is this right? Is this more of a preserve than a jam? Or did I under-process or do something wrong?

  • Audrey – It is meant to be a slightly chunky jam, but the melon pieces should be very soft. I’m sure the end texture depends on the type and ripeness of the melon you used, but what’s certain is that the melon and ginger won’t melt any further once jarred. If you want a smooth jam, you’ll have to process it before pouring it into jars.

  • Frelly

    For those asking about what type of in Australia we have a ‘jam melon”. It looks a bit like a round watermelon(as opposed to the elongated ones) -same stripey skin but inside its clear green with red seeds (immature are white but you can cook those).
    I don’t think many people know about them any more and I got mine from an ole codger on a farm.I knew what it was cos we grew up having to spend school hoidays peeling,chopping, de-seeding them..and now I’m doing it because I love the jam!!

  • Leah Eitzen

    Crystalised sugar aka Jamsetta. It can be hard to find but most supermarkets SHOULD carry it, if not, then a specailised cooking store like Cake Boss might. In Australia, in Coles and Woolworths, its generally in the aisle with the sugar, flour, cake and baking type things.

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