Usually in November my eyes are caught by seasonal editions of food magazines with recipes for edible gifts, including preserves such as Grapefruit Marmalade. It’s also the month when I teach Edible Gifts at Vale House Kitchen and start to think about recipes to include in my teaching and to make at home. Published recipes stimulate me to consider new flavour combinations and make me wonder if they were created in an attempt to be different and to satisfy a perceived belief that consumers always want to try something new.


Along with flavour variations, the recipes are frequently unbalanced in the weight of ingredients ( especially the weight and type of sugar ) and list prolonged boiling times to a set. In recent years I’ve noticed a trend towards an equal weight of sugar to fruit, something worth doing with medium pectin fruit for jam, but not marmalade. It’s worth re-iterating that to make a marmalade you need twice the amount of granulated cane sugar to fruit. Sugar is the preservative and if reduced, the set will take longer than usual, the colour will darken, the fruit flavour will weaken and the consistency will frequently not be gelled.


New season citrus is heading our way in Europe and during what seems an interminable wait for Seville oranges, Grapefruits provide a worthy diversion for making into marmalade. There are plenty of recipes online and in recipe books. Here’s my version of Grapefruit Marmalade and with a nod to the desire for a new flavour, a recipe with cinnamon.

Red Grapefruit and Cinnamon Marmalade

675g red grapefruit
1 large lemon
15g cinnamon sticks
1.75 litres water
1.4kg granulated cane sugar

1. Check the weight of the fruit combined is 675-700g. Juice the fruit and pour into a large preserving pan.
2. Remove the inner membranes of the grapefruit and lemon. Finely chop the inner membranes, bruise the cinnamon into shards and place these with any pips in a piece of muslin, 33cm x 33cm. Tie up the muslin and add to the pan of juice and pour in the water.
3. Finely slice the peel, do not remove the pith. Add the peel to the pan and if possible leave the prepared ingredients to soak overnight.
4. The next day, cover the pan and simmer gently for two to two and a half hours, or until the contents of the pan have reduced by a third.
5. Check the peel is tender and thoroughly strain any liquid from the muslin bag back into the pan.
6. Warm the sugar and jars in an oven at 120C for 20 minutes.
7. Dissolve the sugar in the pan and boil to a set, which should take less than 10 minutes.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 8 minutes
9. Stir the marmalade before potting into clean, warm jars. Seal with new twist top lids.
Leave the jars upright and undisturbed to set.

The batch I made this week shown in the image, has an excellent flavour and set after 7 minutes boiling.


What is wrong with my Marmalade recipe? It won’t set.
First Preserves recipe books
Vale House Kitchen

November 4th, 2017|Tags: , |