Pink Grapefruit Marmalade

Home made marmalade is to my mind one of the best preserves to make. You can buy some fantastic jam almost everywhere but I never find bought marmalade as thrilling. I guess I like a shape flavour and lots of peel but the marmalade must still taste fresh.

The temptation to buy it is strong as I would calculate we get through at the most 3 jars of marmalade a year and many recipes for Seville Oranges have a huge yield and marmalade making does take a bit of effort . Whilst you can pot up the preserve and keep the jars for gifts I now make this grapefruit version most years. It has the advantage of meeting the criteria listed above and as grapefruit aren’t as seasonal as Seville oranges it can be made most months of the year.

In my book James and Chutneys I give a whole load of marmalade recipes they all vary a little but certain points hold true

Choose best quality, fresh fruit and scrub it well before cooking

Cut the peel thinly, it will expand as it adsorbs the sugar so medium cut will become coarse.

Don’t skimp the boiling stage. You really do need the peel to be very soft, a wooden spoon should easily “cut” it before you add the sugar. There are few things worse than tough chewy marmalade no matter how tasty.

Pink Grapefruit Marmalade

Pink and ruby grapefruit make a lovely preserve. They often have thin skins but on the chance that the white pith is very thick pare away a portion before chopping the skins

3 fresh pink or red fleshed grapefruit

2 large lemons

1.5 litres water

1.35 kilos white sugar

Scrub the grapefruit and lemons under running hot water to remove any surface waxNow cut the friut in half and carefully squeeze out all the juice, straining it into a large stainless steel or enamelled saucepan. Reserve the pips.

You will see from the photo I’ve scraped out the excess pith and membrane from the shells. I put this in the bag with the pips to add pectin.

Using a sharpe knife cut the peel of both lemons and grapefruit into fine shreds.

Place these in a large china or glass bowl and cover with the water. Leave this for 24 hours.

Now place the , fruit and water into the pan with the juice and having tied the pips in a muslin bag add these too.

Bring the mixture up to boiling point, cover and then simmer until the peel is very soft. You must be able to cut it easily with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the sugar, and cook over a low heat until this has dissolved. If any scum rises to the surface skim it of as the mixture boils, you may need to do this several times. Now turn up the heat and boil rapidly until a set has been achieved. See Below

Leave the marmalade to stand for 5 minutes then pot in hot sterilized jars and cover in the usual fashion.

Makes approx 8x200ml

Testing for a set

Once the marmalade has been boling for the time given in the recipe you will need to start testing for the set.You can tell with a little experience when this point is near: looking at the mixture the boil becomes more sluggish and a spoon of the marmalade cooled slightly then tipped back into the pot begins to hold together.

The most efficient way to test for the set is to take a chilled plate from the freezer and drop a teaspoon of mixture onto it. Wait a couple of minutes for the marmalade to cool then begin pushing the edge of the mound . If a skin has formed and the preserve wrinkles it’s ready. If the mixture is still liquid it is not ready  so return the pan to the hat and boil rapidly testing as above every 2-3 minutes.



About thanecooks

Thane Prince stumbled into cooking by chance. Trained as a nurse, she began by cooking for the local deli, took a class in journalism and almost before she knew it was writing for the Daily Telegraph. She wrote for the DT for 12 years , did quite a bit of TV work and then moved on to open and co-run The Aldeburgh Cookery School in Suffolk. The school was a great success and received many accolades, judged as one of the top three in the UK at one time. Tiring of life in the country Thane moved back to Central London where she now lives, writes and eats. Thane’s twelfth book Ham Pickles and Jam is published in October 2011.
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3 Responses to Pink Grapefruit Marmalade

  1. Like the new site! Thanks for his recipe, I will certainly give this a go. The colour is so beautiful and I love grapefruit too. I loathe thick cut marmalades so will use my sharpest knife for chopping the skin 🙂

  2. Sounds great – I’ve never been a real marmalade fan, but love making preserves for gifts, and one that is less seasonal will be useful to have up my sleeve.

    A question though … have you any tips for making lower sugar preserves? I want to try substituting some of the sugar for xylitol, but wonder if you had any thoughts (other than just, Don’t do it!)


    • thanecooks says:

      I’ve no experience with low sugar preserves, keeping to the maxim that a little of what is good is better than more of what isn’t quite so good. But that said you could look on the web for answers. I think my stance would be that I only use things in my food I can buy in a regular food store or local market not ingredients that come from a chemists shop
      Good luck Thane

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