I had no intention of using star anise with melon here. I was reaching out for the jar of cinnamon on the shelf when I noticed the star anise sitting beside it. I admit that cinnamon would have been a more conventional choice, but the liquorice intensity of the anise works really well with the musky sweetness of the melon. Use sparingly though, too much and you are in sambuca territory.
* Because of the low sugar content in this jam, its shelf life is not very long. That said, it stays well refrigerated for up to 15 days.
—Kirthana | Theblurrylime
Add melon and sugar to a heavy bottomed pot and cook covered until the fruit has softened, about 5-6 minutes.
Break down the fruit by pressing down with a potato masher. Add the star anise, salt, and lemon juice and continue to cook uncovered on a low flame for 10-15 minutes until the melon starts to get pulpy. Stir often, and keep an eye on it constantly as the sugar tends to stick to the bottom if left unattended.
Check the consistency by taking a spoonful of jam and letting it drop back down into the pot. If it clings slightly to the spoon and falls in a clump, it’s done. If it looks too wet still, continue cooking for a further 5 minutes.
Once done, scoop out the star anise and discard. Ladle the jam into a glass jar and refrigerate.