I try my hardest not to waste anything. Figured this recipe out with the last watermelon that crossed my path. The end result is a bit thinner than your typical maple syrup, but is still amazing on pancakes. You can also use this recipe for marinades for chicken and pork, and you can also use it as sweetener in ice tea. The options are endless. It takes some time and effort, but is so worth it. Yields about 6 half pints.
4 1/2 C Watermelon Rind (fruit removed), cut into 1 inch pieces
1T Ground Ginger
4 C Sugar
1/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Lemon, thinly sliced (optional)
In bowl, place rind, cover in salt and add enough water to cover rind. Allow to sit in refrigerator for about 6 hours. This will help pull out the excess water. Drain, Rinse, Drain again. Cover with water and allow to sit about 30 minutes. Drain.
In medium pot, add drained rind, sprinkle ginger over top, cover with water. Over medium/low heat, cook until rind is fork tender. Drain.
In large pot, add sugar, 7C water, and lemon juice. Bring to boil for 6 minutes. Add rind. Allow to boil for 30 minutes. Add sliced lemon and continue to cook until rind is clear. You can strain this (I did) or you can simply can it with the fruit. I add 1 piece of rind to presentation only.
Place finished product in sterilized jars. Water bath for 5-10 minutes depending on elevation. Enjoy!