Last weekend, I worked up a batch of grapefruit marmalade. The story isn’t very special. The production took longer than I expected. The finished marmalade was passable, but not awesome. No – there is nothing compelling here at all. But I enjoyed myself and took pictures, so there has to be a blog post!

Believe it or not, my marmalade recipe is from Martha Stewart. Yep – me and Martha. As close as two seeds in a hesperidium.

I made marmalade earlier this year with clementines, and wanted to try some different citrus. So I began with six clean grapefruit. (That’s a bit more than the three pounds of citrus the recipe calls for. However, I wasn’t planning on using the whole fruit.)


Next, I peeled the flavedo off the outside and disposed of the albedo. The flavedo got chopped into (mostly) small bits.*

* Flavedo? Albedo? Huh? Ok – zest and pith, if you like.

Peeled grapefruit

Pith is weird stuff.


After removing as much of the pith as I could in a reasonable amount of time, I sliced the fruit into thin sections, removing seeds as I went.

Thin grapefruit slices

This all went into the pot with the zest and six cups of water, and got boiled for twenty minutes or so to tenderize everything.

After the initial tenderizing, the recipe calls for four cups of sugar. At this point, I realized I had a problem.


Turns out, grapefruit aren’t quite as sweet as clementines. (No kidding! Who invited the scientist to this party?!) Since the final step in this marmalade-making process was to simply boil until things thickened up, I thought I’d cook for a while and see if the flavor might improve as things concentrated.

Boiling down the mix

Uhh… no. After twenty minutes or so, I decided to add more sugar.

And then some more.

And finally I had added all of the sugar in the house.

In the end, about seven cups of sugar went into the pot. (That was just about right for me; eight cups might suit those who like things a bit sweeter.)

But just because the taste was right didn’t mean an end to the process. The mix was still much too thin, so I continued to cook things down – probably for a total of two hours or so. Much longer than the 45 minutes in the recipe.

Eventually, I concluded that proper consistency had been reached… that or I just got tired of waiting. It was way after our bedtime, but Long-suffering Spouse had stayed up to show me how to run the canner.



Final tally? Three quarts of marmalade!

Three quarts of grapefruit marmalade

For my next adventure, I think I’ll try lemons or limes. (And make sure that there is plenty of sugar on hand.)