Pickle & Preserve

Grapefruit Marmalade

December 21, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by Sarah Stone
  • Makes 6 half-pints
Author Notes

I love this grapefruit marmalade, with just the right amount of bitterness to match the sweetness. You can sub any citrus fruit for this recipe: I've done Meyer lemon, blood orange, Seville orange, and white grapefruit versions. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/2 pounds grapefruit
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 cups sugar
  1. Place a small plate in your freezer—this is to test the doneness of the marmalade later!
  2. Use a peeler to peel the zest away from the grapefruit. Slice the zest into very thin strips—as thin as you can!
  3. Trim a small amount of the top and base away from the grapefruit. Place the grapefruit with this cut side down on the board so it’s sitting on a flat surface. Starting at the top, cut the white pith away from the flesh. Continue working your way around the grapefruit until the pith is gone.
  4. Cut the fruit into quarters, then slice the quarters into 1/4 inch-thick slices.
  5. Combine the sliced fruit, sliced zest, water, and sugar in a large pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Stir until it reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to low.
  6. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens and reads 220° F on a thermometer.
  7. Test the doneness by spooning a small amount of marmalade onto the frozen plate your prepared earlier. The marmalade should gel up very quickly to a set but spreadable consistency.
  8. Ladle the marmalade into clean, sanitized jars and attach the lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off of the canner, and let the jars sit in the water for 5 minutes more. Remove the jars carefully from the water and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. It’s important to not disturb the jars during this process—and it’s ideal to leave them at least 10 to 12 hours before moving them. Once they’re cooled, check the seals by pressing your finger on the top of the lid. It shouldn’t move at all: If it does, the jar hasn’t sealed properly. If it doesn’t move, you’re ready to open or store your jars! Store for up to 1 year in a cool, dark place. Once opened, the marmalade should be refrigerated and it will keep up to 3 months. If you don’t want to can your marmalade, just let your marmalade cool to room temperature, then transfer the jars to the refrigerator. They’ll keep in there for up to 3 months (the same shelf life as any opened jam/jelly/marmalade).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ChefJune
  • Chef Devaux
    Chef Devaux
  • Jenna
  • Marcia Hecht
    Marcia Hecht
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

8 Reviews

Jenna November 15, 2020
Followed this recipe to the letter but it didn’t set. Way too watery (6 cups of water was definitely too much)
Weighed my grapefruit and 4 was a bit over the required amount but that’s what I used.
Tastes fine but more of a sauce than a jam consistency. I think I agree with a previous reviewer and would bring this up to 225 or so rather than 220 degrees next time. And I think I would let it boil at that temp for several minutes to bring down that water content.
Also this made 8 half pints so had to quickly get more jars prepped!
Marcia H. March 23, 2020
Erin or other marmalade makers: citrus can vary enormously on the amount of pith, thickness of peel-to-fruit ratio that I’m concerned about using weight rather than amount of fruit or juice. My 2-1/2 lbs of grapefruit might yield too much, or not enough actual fruit in relation to sugar. How to resolve this?
Sydney F. January 9, 2020
I have been wanting to try my hand at marmalade for a year and I finally went for it! Did not know it could be this simple. It's delicious, but I was a little afraid that it was not setting enough at 220 so I let it get closer to 224. I now have extra thicc marmalade...but it can still spread on an english muffin and it tastes fantastic! So excited to share this with friends and family. I will say that you need to be very patient while it gets to 220. I used a soup pan and I found that it was not getting there on low. I cranked it up to a 3 on the dial and it slowly, but surely got to where it needed to be. Definitely going to try this again with another type of citrus!
janedoe June 24, 2018
Made this yesterday and it was outstanding. The marmalade isn’t going to set up as hard as bought jams or marmalades, but the consistency is still outstanding after you let it seal and set up in the refrigerator. Just the right amount of bitterness. Be patient and let it boil down without going over 220. YUMMY!
LoisonMaui December 24, 2017
Spent 7 hours making this yesterday. Meticulously cut the rind in strips, removed all the membranes, and hoped for a 5 star result. It never set. I have made this recipe before and it was fine. I'm wondering since I doubled the recipe, if there was just too much water. I added pectin this time to make sure it would set as well. Not sure what I did wrong.
Jache January 24, 2016
I LOVE pink grapefruit so this recipe was a great find! I will say that this was waaaaay too sweet for me. I prefer things a little tart/bitter and that was basically lost. And I only used 2 1/2 cups of sugar. I will cut back even more next time but I definitely appreciate the post.
ChefJune January 7, 2016
Thanks, Erin. I've been making Blood Orange marmalade for the past few years, and still have some jars remaining. Thought I' would like to try using pink grapefruit this time. Your recipe is right on time.
Chef D. December 22, 2015