It’s been all-marmalade all-the-time in my kitchen for the last week. Between my standing winter splurge of red grapefruit from Texas and 7 lbs of California sunshine from the Lemon Ladies Orchard, I’ve had no trouble keeping up my Vitamin C levels and had citrus to spare to make marmalade for the rest of the year.
While I put aside a few pounds to make a favorite or two, I always like to try out something new. Last year I don’t think I had Meyers and Rio Red’s at the same time; this year, I decided it was high time to combine my two favorite citruses. (Citrii?) Since Meyer skins are quite soft, they don’t hold up well to my usual 3-day marm process. I could have started the grapefruit a day earlier, then added in the lemon on the second day, but I opted for something a little different. I peeled the grapefruit, discarded the white pith, and sliced the fruit, similar to the process in my honeyed grapefruit jamalade. This way both fruits could be cooked together and the bitter grapefruit pith did not have a chance to overwhelm the rather delicate, floral flavor of the Meyers. The only danger therein is: the grapefruit smelled so. very. good. when I was peeling and chopping… that I ate it. So this recipe contains the fruit of only one grapefruit, but the zest of two. What can I say? When it comes to Texas Rio grapefruit, I’m weak.
I had made a batch of grapefruit guajillo marmalade a few days prior to making this one, and it didn’t want to set, even though I cooked it to 224 degrees F. In fact, it’s still a bit liquidy in the jars sitting on my counter, waiting to be labeled. So I added a bit of citrus pectin to this batch, hoping it would help the set. Well, set it did: a bit too firmly, honestly. Sigh. I really need that Gel-O-Meter. I only had a tiny taste before this went into jars; it was bright and tart, but without overly assertive grapefruit bitterness. I think it will age quite nicely on the shelf: when I pop a jar, I’ll report back.
Rio Red Grapefruit & Meyer Lemon Marmalade
- 2 large Rio Red grapefruits (about 2 lbs), divided (or 1 large grapefruit and frozen zest from another)
- 1 lb Meyer lemons
- 1 and 3/4 lbs sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)
- 1/4 cup citrus pectin
- pinch salt
- Day 1. Zest 2 grapefruits with vegetable peeler. Julienne zest. Enjoy the fruit of one grapefruit, then remove the white pith and chop the fruit of the other. Add grapefruit and zest to a large measuring cup. Quarter Meyer lemons lengthwise; remove middle pithy seam, and any seeds, from each quarter. Slice quarters lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise to form small triangles of peel + fruit. Add to measuring cup. Measure, then combine with an equal volume of water in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, then store refrigerated overnight.
- Day 2. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Bring fruit mixture to a boil over high heat. Add sugar, pectin and salt, stirring until sugar dissolves. Allow to boil vigorously, stirring minimally, until the marmalade reaches the set point: 220 degrees F on an accurate thermometer (or 8 degrees above the temperature of boiling water at your altitude), about 30 minutes. Allow to boil at 220 degrees F for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow marmalade to cool slightly for 2 – 3 minutes. Skim any foam, push down fruit pieces, and ladle hot marmalade into hot jars to 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Yields about 5 and 1/2 cups.
- You can probably get away without adding the citrus pectin here, as the set was plenty firm.
- As suggested above, if you want the added bitterness of the grapefruit pith, you could chop 1 full grapefruit, add an equal volume of water, bring to a simmer and refrigerate overnight. On Day 2, proceed with the recipe, adding the Meyer lemons, simmering, and storing overnight again.
- You don’t have to eat one of the grapefruits: you could chop it and add it to the marmalade. I just couldn’t resist!
Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year.