Grapefruit marmalade on toast is a delicious breakfast

Marmalade is something I think you need to be an adult to enjoy. Unless you have kids who eats everything you put in front of them,  mine never liked the strong taste and I remember as a child it wasn't a flavour I enjoyed either. Much like learning to love the taste of oysters and blue cheese, somewhere into adulthood I discovered the flavours of marmalade and it's been a staple of my pantry spreads ever since.

While I prefer the marmalades made with oranges (because basically I am one big sweet tooth) we don't have a glut of oranges this year, so it is grapefruit marmalade on the menu.

This is my first attempt at making marmalade, but I have made jam before. The processes are very similar with the same tests to decide when done but there was a lot more preparation of the fruit. It was especially tricky trying to keep the pith out of the equation.

With citrus fruit, the pectin (the natural setting agent) is in the pith and the pips. This might account for why I had heard getting marmalade to set was promlematic. I decided, in my "I have no idea what I'm doing so I'll deviate from the recipe." mindset, to use Chelsea Jam Setting Sugar instead of ordinary sugar to increase my chances of having the marmalade set. If you try this, the mixture will be ready sooner than the 'wrinkle' stage, so keep an eye on your mixture and don't over cook it like I did.

Now I have tons of grapefruit marmalade and won't be running out any time soon.

This marmalade was made from an Annabel Langbein recipe. It uses lots of fruit and yields a ton (well, 4 litres) of marmalade. It is intensely grapefruity flavour with that slightly bitter kick. If you need to churn through a pile of grapefruit, this is a straightforward recipe to follow.

HINT: if you bottle the marmalade in many small jars (150-250ml), rather than several large (500ml) ones, it's easier to give away :)

Annabel Langbein's Grapefruit Marmalade Recipe

Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 1 hour 40 mins Makes: about 4 litres 

  • 2kg grapefruit
  • 2kg sugar
  • 1/2 cup whiskey

Cut the unpeeled grapefruit into quarters, then slice finely by hand or using the slicing attachment of a food processor. Place in a wide, non-corrosive preserving pan and cover with 2 litres of water. Cover and leave to soak overnight.

The next day, place the pot over a high heat, bring to the boil and boil for 40 minutes. Lower the heat and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then return to the boil and boil for an hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so to prevent the grapefruit from catching on the bottom – you want it to almost catch, but not burn. If you feel it starting to catch, remove it from the heat for a couple of minutes, giving it a gentle stir to stop it burning on the bottom, then continue boiling.

After 55 minutes do a ‘set test’ to check if your marmalade is ready. Chill a saucer in the fridge for a few minutes, then drop a teaspoonful of marmalade onto it. The marmalade is ready when it forms a skin that wrinkles when you hold the plate on an angle. At this point add the whiskey and boil for couple of minutes more to burn off the alcohol.

Pour straight into sterilised jars and seal with sterilised lids. If properly sealed Grapefruit Marmalade will last indefinitely. 


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