Rio Red Grapefruit & Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Meyer lemon red grapefruit marmalade

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.

Meyer lemon red grapefruit marmalade

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


  1. 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.
  2. Day 2. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  3. 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.

Rio Red Grapefruit & Meyer Lemon MarmaladeOPTIONS

  1. You can probably get away without adding the citrus pectin here, as the set was plenty firm.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.




  1. Marmalade is funny stuff. I made a Meyer lemon marmalade a while back which so syrupy that I thought I would have to take it out of the jars and boil it down again, or else just spoon it over vanilla ice cream. And two days later, it set to perfection. Very strange.

    This sounds very wonderful though. Must try.

    • It is indeed: I often find that a runny or un-set marmalade will be set quite firm after a month or two on the shelf. And then of course, I had it in mind to use the syrup to glaze a chicken or a cake, and I’m annoyed with it for setting up! 🙂

      • Cathy Porter

        Hi Ho from Nova Scotia:
        I am looking for a recipe for rum raisin marmalade. An old friend of mine used to make a wonderful RR marm (took the recipe to her grave as it were). It was sooo delicious that I would just eat it straight from the jar. My friend was from England and I think this is a traditional British marmalade . Anyway, I thought – if anyone would have any suggestions, it would be you.

        • Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of rum raisin marm. A quick Google shows me that there are recipes out there: I suggest you search through a few and see if one strikes your fancy. Good luck!

  2. Elizabeth Rothman

    Love your blog, and LOVE these jar labels! Nice job! By the time I am done with canning, I am happy with a bought label and sharpie! 🙂 Elizabeth Rothman

  3. i am impressed that you managed to get even one of those ruby reds into jars. we’re down to the last 6 of the 24 i received in a box a short time ago. they are so, so good i can’t stop eating them fresh. it’s really a predicament because i love marmalade!

    looking forward to your reporting back. i have meyers on the way, and i’m about to pop over to our great ruby red source to place another order – hopefully they have some left!

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  6. Kristin Bray

    Such a lovely recipe that when I found myself in possession of backyard grapefruits and meyer lemons from a trip home to Texas and a snowstorm on the way in New England, I started making a batch. So I have four cups citrus and 4 c water simmering on my stove and I wonder… Did you come up with 1 3/4 c sugar by weight, by volume, what? Before I get jammin’ tomorrow, will I need more sugar? Thanks!

  7. Hi Kristin,

    It’s 1 + 3/4 LBS of sugar, so about 3 and 1/2 cups. The classic ratio of sugar to fruit for marmalade is 1:1 by weight. Since I used 2 lbs fruit, I usually dial back on the sugar and start with about a 75% ratio (or 1 and 1/2 lbs sugar). I then taste and add more if needed. This one ended up at 1 and 3/4 lbs. But, I would start with 3 cups or so and then taste and adjust before it cooks too much, say when it’s just hot enough to start getting syrupy.

    Hope that helps,

    • Kristin Bray

      Yikes! Thanks. I like to think I would have gotten the pounds vs. cups confusion cleared up when I began working again tonight. But I appreciate the correction. I’ll taste as I go and see where it winds up. Thanks, again!

  8. Amanda

    I just finished a batch of this recipe today! I had 2Lbs of meyer lemons off of our little tree on the patio (we live near Houston – no snow) and then added 4 rio red grapefruits from the store. With 4Lbs of sugar, it set beautifully without any added pectin. It tastes wonderful! 🙂 Should add that the chopped up fruit sat for 2 days in the fridge before I could add sugar and can it. Maybe that makes a difference?
    Thank you so much for the recipe and your photos and labels are truly lovely.

    • For all marmalades (except citrus with a very soft skin, like Meyer lemon), allowing the fruit to stand overnight softens the rind (adding sugar right away can toughen the rind and make it chewy) and allows pectin to evenly distribute throughout the liquid for a better set. Since this recipe takes the grapefruit rind off with a peeler and includes softer Meyer, you’ll probably be OK without an overnight rest.

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