It’s recipe time!!!
I have made quite a few batches of this marmalade over the years, and it has always turned out well. Marmalade seems to be easier to get right than jam, so it’s a good place to start if you’re new to preserving. This recipe is a twist on a classic grapefruit marmalade, but using pink grapefruit which are slightly (but crucially) sweeter, and swirling in a measure of mother’s ruin to give it a kick.
Makes approx 8 small (200g) jars
1kg pink grapefruit – halved (unwaxed preferably)
1 unwaxed lemon – juiced (keep the peel and pips)
3 ltr cold water
1.5kg sugar with added pectin *or use granulated white sugar with added pectin – follow the instructions for how much to add per kg sugar*
Large heavy-bottomed pan with lid
8 small (200g) jars or a mixture of sizes
Muslin cloth and string
Firstly, juice all the grapefruit and the lemon (combining juice together). This is faaaaar easier using an electric juicer – especially if you are doubling up on quantities (unless you want Madonna arms). When juicing the grapefruit, remove the central transparent bits and discard, keeping the white pith on the peel. Using a pair of scissors, cut the peel into strips 0.5cm thin
Put the pips and peel from the lemon into a muslin bag and tie with string. Toss this along with the juice, peel, and water into the pan. Bring to boil and allow this to simmer right down for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
In the meantime, wash out the jars, clean off the labels if you are re-using old jars (this is easiest using a metal scourer and fairy liquid), rinse with cold water and allow to air-dry. At this stage also place a saucer into the freezer to chill.
Take the pan off the heat, add the sugar and allow to sit for 5 mins. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved fully. At this stage, put the dry jars upside down into the oven cold, and turn the oven to 120 degrees. Then place the lids into a pan of cold water, and allow to boil – these two actions will sterilize the jars ready for use.
Put the pan back on the heat and allow to gently boil for as long as it takes to reach setting point – this can take an hour. At this stage you must watch continuously and keep stiring with a wooden spoon to avoid the mixture burning. You will know when the mixture has reached the setting point by either using the thermometer to find 160 degrees, or else dropping a small amout of the liquid onto the chilled saucer, replacing in the freezer for 2 minutes, and then pushing the liquid to see if a film has formed on top. If it does, the mixture is set, and you should remove it from the heat and leave for about 15 minutes to stand.
Remove the jars from the oven (carefully!) and turn right-side up. Add the gin and stir, then spoon the mixture into the jars and quickly screw on the sterilized lids. Turn the jars upside down to create a vacuum and leave to cool. Add labels, fabric, tags and any other frippery you desire, and serve with the best bread and butter you can lay your hands on xx
PS – I will post the other recipes in this pic another day: lemon curd and apple, ginger and date chutney xx