Watermelon Butter

Watermelon Butter is thick and delicious – it’s like non-spiced apple butter, only watermelon, and perfect spread on toast or biscuits.
Watermelon Butter

Watermelon Butter
Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

For Sunday Supper this week the associated bloggers in this group have put together a selection of recipes to preserve the summer harvest.

One of the things I like to do is some measure of canning, although I don’t do it in great volume since I have a small family. I like to put up small batches of pickles (generally just a few jars at a time in the fridge) or a jar or two of jam or apple butter. I don’t have large amounts of produce since I don’t grow melons or apples, and the amount of cukes I grow serves really just for the refrigerator. But I have a few recipes on the blog if you care to peek at those:

Apple Butter

Apple Butter

Refrigerator Pickles

 Refrigerator Pickles

I am a bit picky about the kind of apples I use in my butter, and that season starts early (July) and is already past, even though the mountain of harvested apples is still coming in. I might be caught making some with a mix of apples in the late season of mid-September into October, depending on what the orchards have but my apples standards for that are usually Lodi and Transparent apples, not great for either eating or pies, but they make great sauce and butter.

Besides the handful  of cukes (I usually just plant one plant) I also grow a boatload of hot peppers since I like really spicy food. Off and on I will have lots of jalapenos to put up and go through those pretty quickly. I also like making jalapeno jelly although I don’t have the recipe up for that, and make my own hot sauces (no recipes up yet for that either unfortunately). If I run out I often will make some with peppers bought at the market. The recipe I use keeps them nicely solid and not squishy like some over processed  peppers I occasionally find in jars and  cans at the store. Same for pickles. I like them crisp.

This watermelon butter recipe I came up with recycling the pulp leftover from one of my favorites-

Watermelon Lemonade

Watermelon Lemonade

I like buying the big old-fashioned seeded watermelons as the seedless still have those yucky white seeds. It’s easier for me to get rid of the black seeds. Plus I think those cultivars have much better flavor. Sort of like heirloom melons, if you will. But again, we are back to small families just cannot consume that much melon. This recipe in fact uses the leftovers from about 3/4 of a large one. But you need not worry about that part too much. You can freeze up juice or pulp from any amounts you happen to have leftover. The juice is marvelous in lemonade and I also make wine coolers with it. And beyond that, just freezing the fruit makes for all sorts of great frozen smoothies and cocktails.

Measuring out the pulp

Measure the Pulp

The pulp should be quite thick

the pulp should be quite thick

But for purposes of this recipe, all the leftover fruit I had, I removed the seeds (both black and white seeds) and pureed it in a food processor (blenders do  the job too). Then I placed that mix into a strainer to  siphon off all the juice, which I used elsewhere. You could probably cook the melon butter  with juice intact since this recipe does include a little apple juice. While the flavor of melon will be slightly stronger though, there is pectin in the apple juice and it does help act as a sort of preservative. So if you are canning for shelf stable/ water bath canning, you will probably want to keep that apple juice in there to keep the quality  of the product from degrading over time as quickly. But for purposes of this recipe, it will just get you about one small jar, so you don’t have to worry about that.

The pulp ready to cook

pulp ready to cook

Watermelon butter bubbling away

Pulp bubbling away

But anyway, after the juice is taken away from the pureed fruit, the pulp will remain, And this is good stuff- gold in fact if you want to use every bit of it. Once it cooks down, you can just refrigerate it and not worry about the canning  part, the same way  you would treat partial jars while canning or canning that do not effectively seal: off to the refrigerator it goes! And being one small jar, that’s just fine.

Very thick when finished cooking

Very thick when finished cooking

Here is the watermelon butter cooling in the jar

watermelon butter cooling in the har

The whole operation is quite easy, if you don’t mind seeding the melon. I recruited help from others and made quick work of it. I do hope you enjoy it as something a little different. Be sure to check out the rest of the recipes in this week’s edition of Sunday Supper, and don’t forget to pin all your favorite recipes to save for later.


Watermelon Butter #SundaySupper

Saving Summer Harvest

As part of the Sunday Supper Movement, I and a host of other food bloggers are pleased to present to you some of our favorite recipes to preserve and keep the produce of the summer harvest.

Special thanks to Stacy of Food Lust People Love and Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks for graciously hosting this event and working so hard to make sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. It’s a big group and a ton of work to keep all together! Thanks so much.







Preserving in oil or butter

Watermelon Butter

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Watermelon Butter
Yield: 1 half-pint


  • 1/2 cup watermelon pulp, pureed and drained
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Remove all seeds (both light and dark) from melon, even if it says it is seedless.
  2. Puree fruit and drain puree in a strainer over another container to catch the juice. Reserve the juice for another purpose, such as making  watermelon lemonade (you can also drink it outright.)
  3. Take 1/2 cup of the thick puree that remains and place in a saucepan with one cup apple juice and 2 tablespoons sugar.
  4. Cook mixture, stirring, over low heat until it is very thick and reduces to a half-pint, at which point it should be quite thick.
  5. When it cools down, refrigerate until needed. If you make a larger amount,  place butter into sterilized jars and seal according to safe canning directions (check a Ball canning  guide or website for a local university extension service website for more detailed information.)

From the  kitchen of palatablepastime.com

Watermelon Butter

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Palatable Recipes

You might also like:

Canning Marinara Sauce

Grape Jam

Caramelized Balsamic Onion Jam

23 responses

  1. This is the perfect use most of a big watermelon I have languishing in the refrigerator, Sue. It isn’t the most flavorful as watermelons go, but as you say, cooking it down will concentrate the flavor so I can’t wait to give your recipe a try.

  2. I was so interested to see how you made watermelon butter. I’m so glad you shared the recipe. What a fabulous way to save the melon.

  3. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe Sue. It was so quick and easy to make. A great alternative to apple butter. I really enjoyed the depth of flavor that was achieved by cooking the watermelon pulp down. Sweet, tart and tangy. I loved it. I will be making this again… into my keeper box this goes. The juice was wonderful served chilled over crushed ice. Made for CQ 2 – Texas.

  4. Did anyone figure out how to can for long-term preservation? I’ve looked but haven’t come up with the information.

    • While fruit butters and jams are quite similar in texture, jams are made from crushed fruit, while fruit butters are made from pulp. So this watermelon butter is, in fact, a fruit butter and not jam, being made from watermelon pulp. 🙂

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