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One thing I love about winter is when citrus season comes around.  Once a year all citrus goes on sale for a low, low price, and that’s when we get ours.  There’s a flurry of preserving zests, fruits, curds, and marmalades.  This week, I’m making grapefruit marmalade, and I’m sharing with you just how I do it.

An especially good thing about making grapefruit marmalade is that it uses nearly the entire grapefruit–peel and all.  Of course grapefruit is naturally sour, so it does take quite a bit of sugar, but it’s not your everyday jam, so it only gets used for special times anyway.

Moving on.  Let’s make some marmalade, shall we?

To make grapefruit marmalade, you will need:

  • 4 pink grapefruit
  • 10 cups sugar
  •  3/4 cup lemon juice

Cooking & canning items needed:


Start by really cleaning all four of your grapefruit.  I usually have to wash/soak mine at least 4 times to get everything off of them.  Since this recipe uses the peels & all, it’s really important to take the time to do this step.

Next, in a large pot, add all four whole grapefruit  and enough water to make them float.  Boil them for about 90 minutes.  You may need to add water at some point to make sure they are floating the entire time.

When your time is up, carefully drain them.  They should be super soft.  At this point I cut the very ends off (the blossom end, and the base).

Now you have the option of:

  • cutting the entire grapefruit up as finely as you can with a knife (after you’ve let your grapefruit cool)
  • using a hand blender to cut the grapefruit up into tiny pieces, but not quite a puree
  • using your Vitamix to cut your grapefruit into tiny pieces, but again, not quite a puree

After you have all of your grapefruit chopped up finely, take a minute to prepare your jars, lids and rings.  (I follow the guidelines outlined in my Ball Blue Book.) Also prepare your water bath canner.

While your jars, lids, and rings are getting ready, pour your grapefruit, sugar, and lemon juice into a pot.  Warm and continually stir on low heat until the sugar is melted.

Bring to a boil and the let it bubble until just before the jell point (15-20 minutes depending on how low you have it).

Stop your heat just before your marmalade hits the jell point (when it’s thick, but not yet sheeting).

Using a funnel and ladle, scoop your marmalade into your hot prepared jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Use your plastic stick to remove any bubbles, and carefully clean the rims with a clean cloth.  (Don’t neglect to wipe the rims, or it’s highly likely you’ll have missed seals.)

Place your lid (or two piece reusable Tattler lids like I use) on the top and place your prepared ring on.

Use your grabber to place each jar carefully into your prepared water bath canner and bring to a rolling boil.  (Be sure to use your water bath canner according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Mine calls for 2 inches of water to cover the tops of the jars.)

Process for 10 minutes plus your adjustment for altitude once you reach a boil.

Altitude                                                          Increase Processing Time

1001-3000 ft                                                         5 minutes

3001-6000                                                            10 minutes

6001-8000                                                            15 minutes

8001-10000                                                        20 minutes

At just under 6000 feet in altitude, I time mine for 20 minutes.


Once your time is up, turn your heat off and remove the lid from your canner.  Let your jars set as they are for awhile.  After 20 minutes, I pull mine out with the jar lifters and carefully set them on a towel on the counter, making sure there is an inch of space all the way around them.

Since I use the tattler lids, I use 2 oven mitts to tighten the rings once they are sitting on the counter.

Let your jars set overnight.

Carefully check your seals in the morning and clean your jars.  Any jars that didn’t seal can be processed again, or put in the refrigerator and used within the week.

Making and canning homemade grapefruit marmalade. This stuff is so good!

This recipe made 10 half pints, plus a little dish (pictured above) for immediate taste-testing.


A quick note:  Only you can be responsible for the food you prepare for your family, just as only I can be responsible for the food I prepare for my family. Always follow all manufacturer’s guidelines.  You are encouraged to use pH testers, and also know that substituting any ingredients affects the pH and affects the need for lemon juice and/or processing times.  I am not a professional “canner” and take no responsibility for your technique.  I follow guidelines outlined in the Ball Blue Book, and I encourage you to as well.