back when i was about 15 years old, my big sister took me to cal jam II. this was a huge concert out in the middle of nowheresville in southern california in the late seventies. growing up, i never really understood it when people said ‘those were the days’. until now. but those were the days. back when you could wear a shiny bathrobe while you played guitar in a band in front of hundreds of thousands of people and no one thought anything of it. back when you could wear a bandana. as a shirt! and wear tons of maybelline mascara and blue eye shadow.
granted, we mostly wanted to see our favorite bands, heart (my sister was ann, i was nancy) and aerosmith (steven tyler, joe perry, joe perry, steven tyler…ahhh!), but there were many a band and cute boy on hand to keep us occupied. thank goodness for my big sister. without her, i would not have survived my teenage years. she took me with her everywhere, even though there was a 4 year gap between us. don’t get me wrong, it was not all sweetness and light. we had our fights and misunderstandings, mostly because i would steal her clothes to wear to school because they were so much cooler than mine.
what does this have to do with homemade marmalade? well, this is altogether a very different type of jam, but a great one nonetheless.
making jam ain’t all that hard. don’t be intimidated, like i was. and it always helps to have a good friend to help you. thanks, casey.
boil your jars for 10 minutes and keep ‘em in the pot while you finish up the marmalade.
pot on the left is infused with tupelo honey. pot on the right with vanilla bean.
honestly, the color just kills me. i can’t stop looking at it.
texas ruby red grapefruit marmalade (2 variations-with honey or vanilla)
makes about 11-12 half pint jars
adapted from nigella lawson
5 medium sized texas rio star grapefruit, cut in half horizontally
juice of 4 lemons
6 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup local honey (i used a north cackalacky tupelo ‘cos i was out of goodflow wildflower-a local honey)
5 medium sized rio star grapefruit, cut in half horizontally
juice of 4 lemons
8 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split open lengthwise, seeds removed, pod reserved to add to pot
put grapefruit halves in a large soup pot and cover with water. bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered until very soft, about 2 hours, adding more water from a simmering kettle if needed. drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. place a cutting board inside a roasting pan and cut grapefruit into large chunks, removing seeds as you go. the seeds are very large and few. you are welcome to leave the tiny seeds in, they are so fine that they are indiscernible.
place chunks (rind, pith, flesh and all) in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and whirl, in batches, until pieces are finely chopped (see picture). you can really make them as small or large as you like. add back to large pot with remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. set pot to simmer and stir frequently until mixture reaches gel point, tasting as you go to see if needs more sugar. i like mine a little on the bitter side. allow mixture to sit off heat for about 5 minutes, then stir before filling jars.
process in a water bath for 15 minutes.
if you like to can or want to learn how, please go here. this is #1 in a series called tigress’ can jam, wherein bloggers and canners across the globe are on a 12 month canning challenge.