This recipe is a little involved, but really good! Cantaloupe pickles might seem like a strange combination, but it is a combo of sweet and tangy that really makes them so good! This is a 2 day process, so make sure you have some time when you make them!
Lightly adapted from the NCFHP
Print this recipe!
5 pounds cubed cantaloupe (about 2 1/4 cantaloupe for me)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
4 1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Day 1: Cut the cantaloupe into cubes and place in a large bowl.
Place all the spices in a spice bag, or on a piece of cheesecloth.
Tie to enclose the spices – I just used some string.
In a medium pot on the stove, combine the vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat, and add the spice bag. Let it hang out and steep in the vinegar mixture for at least 5 minutes.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the cubed cantaloupe, and add the spice bag into the bowl as well. Let this sit overnight (at least 12 hours, or as many as 18) in the refrigerator.
Day 2: Strain the vinegar from the cantaloupe cubes, and place in a large pot on the stove. Add sugar, and bring to a boil. Once the vinegar reaches a boil, add in the cantaloupe. Simmer for at least 1 hour, or until the cantaloupe looks slightly translucent. Remove the cantaloupe from syrup, and let the syrup boil by itself for 5 minutes. Add the cantaloupe back in, and bring back to a boil.
Fill jars, and top with 2 part lids. Add the cantaloupe, and make sure to cover completely with syrup.
Process in a boiling bath canner for the time recommended for your altitude. Remove from canner, and let sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Seal and store!
I love how you can see speckles in the syrup from the spices! They really are sweet, spicy, and tart all at once!