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Gingered Cantaloupe Pickles

This is best made with under-ripe cantaloupes found readily in chain groceries.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pickling lime
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 small cantaloupes (about 3 1/2 pounds total)
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger

Instructions

  1. First Day: Dissolve pickling lime in water, following directions on the package.
  2. Cut cantaloupe meat from the rind, and slice it into bite-size chunks of similar size and shape. Add the cantaloupe to the lime solution, and let it stand about 4 hours at room temperature.
  3. Drain the cantaloupe, rinse it, and drain it again. Return the fruit to the bowl, cover it with more water, and let it stand at room temperature for about 2 hours.
  4. Drain the cantaloupe once more. Return the fruit to the bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well to dissolve all the sugar. Weight the fruit with a plate, and let it sit overnight.
  5. Second Day: Transfer the cantaloupe and liquid to a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil quickly. Boil vigorously for about 1 1/4 hours, until the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup.
  6. While the cantaloupe cooks, sterilize 8 half-pint canning jars according to manufacturer's directions. With a slotted spoon, divide the fruit chunks evenly among the jars, filling them to within 1/2 inch of their tops. Pour the syrup evenly over the cantaloupe. Process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.
  7. Let the pickles sit at least 1 week to develop their flavor.

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