texas ruby red grapefruit marmalade and a different kind of jam altogether

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

honey version:

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)

vanilla version:

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.


Filed under condiment

50 responses to “texas ruby red grapefruit marmalade and a different kind of jam altogether

  1. littlehousesouthernprairie

    great pictures, looks delicious!

  2. This is amazing and I’m so thankful to be a recipient of such a gift. It is so good. I had it on wheat bread right out of the oven and it was perfect.

  3. MK

    Love your blog, Can Jam sister! I will add it to my reading list.

  4. Love the step-by-step photos. Good work!
    This treat calls for a cake–soon!

  5. Pingback: Tigress’ Can Jam #1: “Citrus” – Citrus Marmalade « Family & Food

  6. Yum! This looks divine, even though I’m not a big fan of grapefruits. Here’s my citrus post: http://ap269.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/tigress-can-jam-1-citrus-citrus-marmalade/

  7. OOh, I bet using a vanilla bean adds quite a bit to the flavor! Great idea! Looks beautiful!

  8. You totally inspired me!

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  10. How much can I pay you for a jar of the honey version? It sounds wonderful!

  11. You really went for it, didn’t you! A whole case of canned goodness. Looks great. Maybe you should send your sister a jar!

  12. robbingpeter

    I am going to have to try this food processor approach to cutting up the citrus. Trying to slice the little round buggers with my knife was a major pain.

    How much of the bitterness of the grapefruit comes through? I really do not care for grapefruit – but this stuff looks beautiful. And I love that you used honey as a sweetner.

    • thecosmiccowgirl

      i think it’s wonderful, but may be fairly bitter, as my friends who are not grapefruit fans have told me. but you could always add more sugar/honey to taste. it really is grapefruit-y, however, so if that’s not a flavor you enjoy, this may not be for you. use it sparingly, as well. you could always give it away!

  13. Wow, this looks delicious! I love Texas grapefruits!

    P.S. I used to steal my big sister’s clothes to wear to school too – she would get so mad at me! What is it about big sister’s clothes that are so much cuter? 😉

  14. I also made a Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade for the jam (as well as another 4-1/4 Fruit Marm). Like you, I can’t get over the color!

    As for the bitterness, I think I may have found the solution in the second recipe I tried – the addition of 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda. The second marmalade had absolutely no trace of bitterness. I’ve done this with tomato sauces instead of adding sugar, with delicious results.

  15. ChrisMik

    It was great! And yep…the color is beatiful! (just like the jammer herself!)

    Thanks again for the great gift!

  16. Shae

    Gorgeous! I’m a grapefruit fanatic and the Ruby Reds are perfect right now. I’m going to try your recipe this weekend. Thanks!

  17. Shae

    One question . . . your instructions say to put the grapefruit back into the big pot with the remaining ingredients, but wouldn’t you need to include water, too? Seems like it would be too dry otherwise. My only marmalade experience is with Meyer Lemons (my favorite) and I always need water in the recipe.

    • thecosmiccowgirl

      nope. no added water. i suppose you could add some if you wanted, but there is still a pretty decent amount of juice in the grapefruit pulp, then sugar becomes liquid lava. let me know how it works out for ya!

      • Shae

        Cool, thanks. I’ll let you know!

      • Shae

        Success! It will be for my bravest, grapefruit loving taste testers, because the rind does deliver a little bite at the end. But I love it, and the color slays me. I did the vanilla version and used slightly less than 8 c. sugar. Next time I might try more, but maybe not . . . it’s plenty sweet and the bitter kick seems to be an essential part of the mix. Thanks again for the recipe.

      • thecosmiccowgirl

        so glad it turned out for you! it is a special concoction to be used sparingly and given to only those that absolutely LOVE grapefruit, to be sure. i was thinking that the combo of sugar and honey with the vanilla would be perfect. i made my second batch a little sweeter as well!

  18. Ren

    Wow, that looks really good! Kudos on your nod from The Statesman too!

  19. Stephanie – It was a pleasure to finally meet you the other night. Thank you for your generous gift of the jam. I enjoyed a bit on multigrain toast for breakfast and it was definitely grapefruity and delicious. Next time, I’m going to put it on top of goat cheese with honey drizzled a top. YUM!

    P.S. I saw your recipe was highlighted in the Statesman food section. So great!

  20. I have been making Texas Red Grapefruit Marmalade for like A DECADE, without EVER getting it to gel.

    THis recipe, and your obvious success with it, is inspiring me to TRY AGAIN.

    (On the plus side, my many many jars of candied grapefruit peel suspended in very sweet syrup got me into making my own fruitcake out of REAL FOOD (as an answer to “what am I going to do with all this candied grapefruit peel that was SUPPOSED to be Marmalade?)

  21. Mmmm what a yummy sounding pair of flavor combos! Great idea with the honey! Bet it tastes amazing 🙂

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  24. SwampDog

    I’m just finishing up with Wild Grape Jelly and the next thing to Ripen is the Ruby Reds. I’ve stared at them for years and wondered what they might be good for other than the Perfect Salty Dog. It just dawned on me that Marmalade was the answer. Thanks so much for this recipe! It’ll be a couple of weeks before the fruit colors up but I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  25. Well, it’s a year later and I’m back for more! I went nuts when I saw Texas Ruby Reds here today — on sale, too. Tonight, I am going to try a Ruby Red Mimosa Jam, with champagne. (That is, some champagne for the jam, some for me.) I’ll let ya’ know. 🙂

  26. Anne Kel-Artinian

    Hi, I came across this recipe later than most. I made it today. It is lovely and grapefruity. But I don’t think it will gel. So I read the posts, and I think I may have made a mistake by adding the water that I boiled the grapefruit halves in. Is that true? (Fortunately, I have lots of uses for jams that don’t gel, so I am not too worried about that.)

    • thecosmiccowgirl

      i’m afraid so, anne. i drain all the water out before processing the grapefruit halves. i do use some of the juice collected after slicing, but that it. sounds like you have a backup plan for the ‘syrup’ so i’m not worried about ya!

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