CanJam- January Edition: Citrus

For the Tigress Can Jam challenge this month the ingredient was citrus.   Since it is impossible to source locally grown citrus in the Pacific Northwest…well, ever… I just chose something that I love- grapefruit- and made a Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade with Vanilla.

I tweaked a recipe I found on recipezaar a bit.     To be honest, I chose this recipe over other grapefruit marmalade recipes because it sounded easier than the others I had considered.  I was a wee bit apprehensive for my first challenge canning.   And really, I wanted/needed to get it done & canned while the babylady napped.

3 organic ruby reds

No, they weren’t the purdiest looking bunch of grapefruit any of us have ever seen.    But let’s get to it.


3 large organic ruby red grapefruit

53 oz. of white sugar

5/8 cup bottled lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

seeds of 1 vanilla bean


Boil whole grapefruit in a large pot with enough water that they can roll around (See!  How easy is that?!)

Let boil for up to 2 hours.   I took mine off after 1.5 hours as they were very soft at that point.  You just want them soft enough to stick a fork in easily.

Allow to cool.   Slice in half and remove seeds.   I then just ripped the halves into smaller chunks.  You could be civilized and use a knife, but I got right in there with my bare (but very clean) hands.

Put all the grapefruit juice & chunks, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in large pot.  I cooked it over medium-ish heat until the sugar was dissolving.

I then gave the pot a run through with my immersion blender to break up the chunks into the consistency I wanted.

Add vanilla bean seeds and bring to mix to a boil.  Cook about 10 minutes or so until is at gel point.

Ladle into your hot jars leaving 1/4″ headroom and hot water process for 10 minutes.

Made 9 lovely half-pints


Lessons from the Jam: Part I

*While the immersion blender was awesomely easy and gave the marmalade a consistency that I actually think I prefer, slicing the grapefruit would likely give it a more traditional texture.

*Boiling the whole grapefruit, however, was brilliant.  A stroke of genius if you ask me.  Who wants to peel and zest and de-pith, blanch and re-blanch?     Not me.   I am, quite frankly, sucky at all-things-tedious.  I just don’t have the attention span.

*I learned that I would likely feel more confident about canning if I could trust things like “gel point.”  I never quite believe the test.   I want things to come out the consistency in which you end cooking them.   In the past I have made some very runny and very sturdy jams due to this.    Maybe the larger lesson is to “trust the process.’    Which is unintentionally “punny” now that I think about it.

*Finally, I learned that your tongue will pucker if you eat too much grapefruit marmalade and that a well-timed toddler nap is awesome.  ‘Cuz no one likes a accidently scalded toddler.

homemade toast, cream cheese & grapefruit marmalade

cooked grapefruit

oh the irony of the weightwatchers scale and piles of sugar combo...

lemon juice

an immersion swirlin'

in to the bath with you lot!


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13 Responses to CanJam- January Edition: Citrus

  1. Travel Mommy says:

    Is there any left for us? This sounds yummy!

  2. ap269 says:

    YUM! LOL about the Weight Watchers scale and the sugar – it’s hilarious.

  3. Libby says:

    This looks great! I love the grapefruit and vanilla combo. Have you ever made cake with ground up whole boiled citrus? That’s good, too.

  4. Julia says:

    Gorgeous! And I am sooo with you on the well timed nap. I have a fifteen month old and it’s allll about the nap!

  5. Kate says:

    Looks tasty!! In the first marmalade I made, using a Scottish recipe (which called for using the ‘pips’–hehe), I boiled the whole fruit whole, too. I loved that method.

  6. Catalina says:

    Whole boiled grapefruit? Why didn’t I think of that?!? Great idea! Yummy looking pictures too – that scale pic is funny!

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  13. esp says:

    I’m making this right now…thanks for the recipe! I had a hard time finding a marmalade recipe with just grapefruit and no other citrus.

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