Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I love marmalade.

Sweet, bitter, sour.    Complex.

On croissants.  On biscuits.  On ice cream.

This is citrus season.  As soon as I have buds on my meyer lemon tree, I know it's time to hit the organic produce section and start making marmalade and lemon pickles.   [Pickle recipe soon!]

This year, I made a mixed citrus marmalade - grapefruit, tangelos, oranges, meyer lemons.    I learned a few neat tricks from Food in Jars - go check out her post.    She does a great step-by-step.  I love her idea of using the seeds and pith for pectin, but they add more bitter and K2 is not big on bitter, so I used pectin to thicken. 

  • 2 grapefruit
  • 2 tangelos
  • 2 oranges
  • 4 meyer lemons
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 T Ball low sugar pectin
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Note:  I only use organic citrus for marmalade.   I don't want to eat pesticides.

Wash your fruit.   Use a vegetable peeler to get the zest off, then stack the zest and cut it into tiny ribbons.   Yes, it takes a while.   Keep thinking about the lovely marmalade that you'll be eating in a few hours.  Set the naked fruit aside. 

Put all the zest into a pot with the 6 cups of water and boil it.   Keep it at an active boil until the zest is cooked into a uniform color and tender.   It takes a while.   You'll be happily occupied with the next step.

Supreme the fruit.  Start by cutting the top and bottom off [so it will not roll on the table].   Now, take a sharp knife and cut the pith off from around the outside surface of the fruit.   I start near the north pole, and cut the pith off the surface, down to the equator and then down to the bottom of the fruit.   Does that make sense?  

Then I turn the fruit on its side and slice it in three big rounds.    Now, the fruit sections will come out much more easily - especially the grapefruit.   Pull out all of the fruit, leaving the pith and membranes.   Don't worry if it's messy and some of the fruit falls apart.    It'll fall apart anyway when it's cooking.    Pitch the pith and membranes.   Compost it or feed it to the chickens. 

Remember the zest happily boiling away?   Check it.   When it's ready, add your fruit and the pectin.   Stir the pectin in quickly.   Then heat the whole thing to boiling.   Boil it hard for at least one full minute.

Add the sugar and salt and return it to a hard boil.    Boil it hard for at least a minute.   Since fruit size and juiciness vary a lot, you may want to test to see if it has jelled enough.  Drop a small spoonful on a cold plate.   Wait a bit and push it with your finger or a spoon.   It should make big wrinkles or clumps.   If you don't think it's ready, then boil it for a while longer.

Note:  The salt is to help cut the bitter.   Grapefruit zest is more bitter than orange zest. 

Want the recipe for this Marmalade and a whole lot of other terrific jam recipes?   Check out my ebook:  A Simple Jar of Jam  at www.rurification.etsy.com.   You can preview the book by clicking the link on the sidebar.  Every purchase helps support this site.  Thank you!


  1. And then do you process it in a waterbath?

    Also, can you sub clementines for tangelos?

    I love your jam recipes.

  2. Hi Janiel! Yes, I processed it in a waterbath. 10 minutes. It's high acid.


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