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Pink Grapefruit Marmalade

From It Starts With Fruit by Jordan Champagne


Pink grapefruit marmalade is for real marmalade lovers. It has such a strong bitter and tart flavor that the intensity is not for every palate. But nothing compares to a thick piece of toasted bread with a thick spread of grapefruit marmalade and some really good black tea. The grapefruit peels get completely transparent and the color becomes a warming blush glow. Any good-flavored, juicy grapefruit is good for this marmalade and if the pith is very thick, simply remove it before cooking down. Pucker up!

2 pounds (910 grams) grapefruits
1 pound (455 grams) lemons
6 cups (1.2 kilograms) organic cane sugar
8 fresh sage leaves

When preparing the grapefruits for this marmalade, I include all of the rinds. They become translucent as they cook down, and in a grapefruit marmalade, one expects their strong bitter flavor, so I do not eliminate any of them. I also include all of the rind from the lemons.

Prepare the grapefruits and lemons by washing them and removing the ends. Slice the fruit in half lengthwise and then into quarters. If the grapefruit quarters are quite large, you can cut them into eighths before slicing them crosswise. Slice down the center of the fruit, remove the extra membrane and the seeds, and reserve. Next, slice the wedges crosswise, making tiny triangle shapes. Add the fruit to a large pot.

Take all of the seeds and membranes and place in a cloth bag. Close the cloth with string and make sure it is tied very well—you don’t want it to come open while you’re cooking! Add the pectin bag to the pot with the fruit and just barely cover with water (about 6 cups or 1.4 liters).

Cover the pot and put it on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring the contents to a boil and then simmer for about 1 hour until the peels are completely tender and the liquid is viscous. Remove from the heat and leave the pot, covered, overnight or up to 24 hours in a spot that will not exceed 80° F [27° C]. Most countertops are fine.

Put five plates in your freezer so they are ready for your gel test at the end. Prepare eight 8 ounce [240 milliliter] jars for storing the finished marmalade. Place the pot over medium heat and when it is warm to the touch, remove the pectin bag and gently squeeze out the liquid inside the bag into the pot.

Increase the heat to high and bring the contents to a boil. Add the sugar and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Continue to boil until the marmalade comes to the desired consistency. This will take anywhere from 25 to 35 minutes. Start your first gel test about 10 minutes after you begin cooking.

Once the marmalade reaches your desired consistency, remove it from the heat, stir in the fresh sage leaves and let sit for 5 minutes while the sage infuses the marmalade. Remove the sage leaves and fill the jars, leaving ½ inch [12 millimeters] of headspace at the top. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and process in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes. Jars will keep for up to 1 year. Makes 8 ½ pint jars.

  • Reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books, 2020

About the author

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Jordan Champagne is the co-owner and founder of Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
She has a passion for preserving the local, organic harvest and loves sharing
her secrets at workshops she teaches in Pacific Grove and in Oakland.