Homemade grapefruit marmalade is a great twist on the traditional orange marmalade. Never made marmalade before? Making marmalade is easy. Many traditional marmalade recipes have you remove all the peel, boil it a time or two and then separate the zest from the pith. That method is messier, more complicated, and less flavorful than simply taking a bit of time to carefully zest the fruit, remove the pith, and then cut out peel- and membrane-free sections of grapefruit.
5 pounds grapefruits, ripe
6 cups sugar
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Grapefruit Marmalade ingredients
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Wash and dry the grapefruits.
washed and dried grapefruits
Use a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the brightly colored zest (and only the brightly colored zest) from the grapefruit. Be sure to leave behind any and all of the white pith directly underneath, it is very bitter.
remove the brightly colored zest from the grapefruit
Chop the resulting zest—bigger pieces for chunkier marmalade, ribbon-like strips for a more spreadable result. Set zest aside.
shop the zest into small pieces
Cut the ends off the zested grapefruits.
cut the ends off of each grapefruit
Working with one fruit at a time, cut off the thick white pith from around each grapefruit.
cut off the thick white pith from around each grapefruit
Working over a bowl to catch the juices, hold a fully peeled grapefruit, and use a sharp knife to cut out each section of the membrane holding the sections together.
cut out grapefruit sections into a bowl
Squeeze any juice out of the membrane once you've cut out all the fruit.
Squeeze any juice out of the grapefruit membrane into a bowl
Set the membrane aside, along with any seeds. The pectin in these will help "set" the marmalade later.
grapefruit membranes in a bowl
Combine the zest, fruit, juice, 4 cups of water and sugar in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil.
Combine the zest, fruit, juice, 4 cups of water and sugar in a large heavy pot
Meanwhile, lay a double layer of cheesecloth in a medium bowl.
lay a double layer of cheesecloth in a medium bowl
Put membranes and seeds in the bowl.
Put membranes and seeds in the bowl
Lift up the corners and tie the cheesecloth into a bag to hold the membranes and seeds.
tie the cheesecloth into a bag to hold the membranes
Add this "pectin bag" to the pot.
add the cheesecloth bag to the pot
While the mixture comes to a boil, put a canning kettle full of water on to boil if you're planning to can the marmalade.
canning pot with water
In any case, put a few small plates in the freezer to chill them. When the canning kettle water boils, use it to sterilize the jars and lids.
jars in a pot with water
Bring marmalade to 220 F and hold it there for 5 minutes. Be patient, this can take quite a while.
grapefruit marmalade mixture cooking in a pot
Put a dollop of the mixture on a chilled plate, swirl the plate to spread the mixture a bit, and drag your finger through the mixture. A "set" mixture will hold a clean track behind your finger.
test marmalade mixture on a plate
Remove "pectin bag," squeezing any marmalade in it out and back into the pot before discarding the bag.
remove cheesecloth bag from the marmalade in the pot
Take marmalade off the heat and let sit 5 minutes.
Take marmalade off the heat
Set up clean jars next to the pot.
marmalade in a pot
Stir marmalade to distribute the zest evenly in the mixture.
stir the marmalade in the pot
Use a ladle to transfer the marmalade into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of each jar.
grapefruit marmalade in jars
Put lids on the jars.
jars with grapefruit marmalade
If you're canning the marmalade, put the jars in the canning kettle and boil for 10 minutes. In any case, let jars cool to room temperature before putting in a cool dry cupboard (if you've hot water processed them) or the fridge (if you didn't hot water process).
Grapefruit Marmalade in a jarring pot
Marmalade will keep a really long time. It is all sugar. Opened marmalade needs to be in the fridge, but unless you use a dirty spoon in the jar, it seems to last for forever, although officially people say six to 12 months.