This preserve has a beautiful sunny color and the taste combination of cantaloupe and peaches is luscious. I've cut the amount of sugar in this version way down from traditional versions. The result is not only healthier, but the natural fruit flavor has more of a chance to shine.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Canning Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 5 - 6 half pint jars
2 pounds/900 gr fresh, ripe cantaloupe, weighed after removing seeds and peels
- 2 pounds/900 gr ripe peaches
- 1 1/4 pounds/567 gr sugar
- 1/2 cup/118 ml honey (use a light one such as clover or orange blossom)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch (1/8 teaspoon) salt
Cut the seeded, peeled cantaloupe into pieces no bigger than 1-inch/2.5 cm (smaller is fine).
Tip: When deciding whether to cut the fruit to 1-inch/2.5 cm size or smaller, keep in mind the end use of the preserves. If you will spoon them on top of yogurt or ice cream, go for the larger sized chunks. If you're looking for something to spoon over or spread on toast, chop the fruit smaller.
Remove the peels and pits from the peaches. Cut them also into pieces 1-inch/2.5 cm or smaller.
Place the cantaloupe and peaches together with the rest of the ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot (no aluminum, copper, or non-enameled cast iron). Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved.
Raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the preserves start to thicken and the liquid passes the spoon test. Note that because this is a relatively low sugar recipe (for fruit preserves) and both peaches and cantaloupes are low pectin fruits, the mixture may take 40 - 60 minutes to come to the desired consistency.
Use a slotted spoon to ladle the hot cantaloupe and peach preserves into clean canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch of head space (it is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe). Add enough of the cooking liquid/syrup to cover the fruit. Screw on canning lids.
Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Tip: Any leftover liquid from cooking the cantaloupe and peaches makes a delicious syrup. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to one month, or can it right alongside the preserves.
Variations and Serving Suggestions:
To turn this preserve into a conserve, stir in 1/2 cup of light crushed pecans just before ladling it into the jars.
To turn this preserve into a simple but elegant and scrumptious dessert, spoon a little of it over chunks of fresh cantaloupe and/or slices of fresh, ripe peaches. When these summer fruits are out of season, spoon some of their preserves over vanilla ice cream.