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.
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.
YOU MUST TAKE THE PAN OFF THE HEAT WHILE YOU TEST FOR A SET.