I recently heard some people on a British TV show talk about something I have never heard of because it’s not sold in the US: grapefruit marmalade!
I feel deprived! Grapefruit is one of my favorite fruits and flavors, and I love orange marmalade, so it’s almost guaranteed I would love grapefruit marmalade. And it’s not just for toast – it’s great spread on grilled fish, glazed on meat, added as the basis of a spicy-fruity salsa, or added to fruit pie fillings for a touch of citrus zing.
But the only way to get it in the US is by ordering online. Most commercially sold grapefruit marmalades don’t have as much grapefruit flavor as I want – they’re so over-sweetened that the fruit hardly has a chance to shine through.
Making grapefruit marmalade
There’s also the option of making grapefruit marmalade yourself. I’ve collected some recipes here. It turns out there was more variation than I was expecting:
- Mr. Breakfast has a fairly simple recipe using pink grapefruit with oranges and lemons. It falls a little on the sweet side, but replacing the table sugar in the recipe with turbinado sugar can give it a slightly more molasses flavor and a bit less sweetness. The use of orange, lemon and liqueurs in this recipe is traditional. (Don’t worry – I also have a recipe for those of you who just want pure grapefruit flavor – keep reading.)
- RecipeZaar has a less sweet recipe that’s slightly more complicated. It uses 2.5 cups of white sugar and 2.5 cups of brown (which is white sugar mixed with molasses). Again, you could just replace the whole sugar load with the evaporated cane juice substitution I mentioned above. This recipe doesn’t contain any liqueurs, nor any oranges. It does use a little bit of lemon juice, which goes nicely with the grapefruit.
- Homemade Gifts Made Easy has a wonderful, simple recipe: a very flavorful grapefruit marmalade recipe that calls for pink or white grapefruit (an I the last American who loves white grapefruit? I can never find it in stores anymore!), only two cups of sugar, and nothing else. No water to dilute it, no liqueurs for extra flavor – just grapefruit and sugar. This one comes out with plenty of grapefruit flavor, but not enough to make you pucker with every bite. This recipe uses the microwave to shorten the time it takes to about twenty-five minutes. Some people choose to add some sugar to this recipe, and of course, it’s flexible enough for that. But for those of you who are wondering why everything has to be so over-sweetened these days, this is a great recipe.
- The Cosmic Cowgirl has something quite different: her recipes for grapefruit marmalade call specifically for ruby red, and infuse the jam with either honey or vanilla. But the reason they do this is that she uses all the parts of the grapefruit – the pith, rind and everything. Most recipes avoid those because they can yield a bitter taste. But Cosmic Cowgirl’s recipes work with that bitter taste, which the honey or vanilla make tolerable. She says she likes hers a little on the bitter side, but adding more sugar will tone the bitterness down if you prefer. All in all, two great recipes here.
These four recipes cover the major variations, plus a couple of cool new twists from Cosmic Cowgirl. They’re all good in different ways.