Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade
C’mon, folks. Who doesn’t like marmalade? I know, I know. Orange marmalade, an English tradition hasn’t quite captured America the way it ought to.
But I’m trying.
I make orange marmalade. I also make other types too, including, famously, the Meyer Lemon marmalade that got me started on this mad adventure into fruit and sugar cooking. I found an entry on one of Ellen’s Pinterest pages saying that she wished she had such a product, so with a little research I ventured to attempt a batch of the bittersweet goodie, and it came out wonderful.
And then, as my obsessive personality drives me, there was no looking back.
Marmalade became an obsession. Navel oranges, Clementines, blood oranges, red grapefruits, Persian limes, Key limes–no citrus fruits are safe. I’ve made them all. Some are good, some are great (Ellen says the Key lime marmalade has no future, because the color just doesn’t look particularly appetizing, but it tastes terrific.
In the meantime, my little jars of sunshine are turning up in the kitchens of friends and family, as they make wonderful gifts.
Also the obsession has now leaked into chutneys, but I’ll save that for another time. In the meantime, I’ve had a request for a recipe, as one demented relative has suggested to me that red grapefruit marmalade matches well with hummus. I simply can’t imagine that, but I suppose that’s why they make cookbooks and cooking shows on TV–because there’s no end to the combinations of foods that intrepid chefs are willing to convince us to try. I guess that’s what keeps them in business.
So, in that spirit, and without further ado, here is my red grapefruit marmalade recipe. It’s simple, so long as you have lots of time on your hands and the patience to cut big fruits into tiny little pieces. I apparently do, and it pleases my wife no end (and isn’t that what life’s about anyway?):
RUBY RED GRAPEFRUIT MARMALADE
2 large pink or red grapefruits
6 cups water
5 cups sugar
Place the grapefruit in a large pot with ample water, so they are bobbing about, and boil for 2 hours, until they’re soft. (You may have to top up the water here and there.) Drain, cool a bit, slice the grapefruits thinly, and roughly chop as well. Remove any large seeds.
Return everything to the pan, along with 5 cups of sugar and the juice of 2 lemons. Boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. With a candy thermometer at the ready, boil until the brew reaches 220 degrees F and holds that temperature for a minute. You can test to see if the setting point is reached. This is done by placing a teaspoon of the jam on a small plate and cooling it in the refrigerator. If the mixture thickens and creases when you press on it, it’s ready. If not, keep cooking and test again in a few minutes. When you are testing, take the marmalade off the heat so it doesn’t overcook. Also, skim the bubbles from the marmalade as you cook – this will keep the finished product from becoming cloudy. You can jar and process the marmalade at this point. If not, use within one month.
To can the marmalade, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water, and then place the jars in the canning pot so that the water is at least an inch over the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a boil , reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Then place the lid disks and rings in the hot water for at least five minutes before using. Fill the hot jars with marmalade, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe clean the rims of the jars, carefully set the lids on the jars and tighten to finger-tight. Allow the filled jars to sit on a wire rack until all the jars are filled. Then place them in the canning pot so that they are not touching each other and the water is at least 1 inch over the tops of the lids. Bring the water to a rapid boil, then set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer beeps turn the heat off, allow the jars to sit in the water for an additional five minutes, then carefully remove the jars and place them on a dry towel to cool. The lids should all pop inward and sound solid when tapped with a spoon. Allow them to sit untouched for 24 hours. If any of the lids don’t pop, refrigerate them and use within one month.