Remember reading over the summer that I learned to make pickles and jam?  Now I know how to make marmalade!  Several people have asked for the recipe, so here it is.  I made slight modifications to the recipe from the cosmic cowgirl, who credits Nigella Lawson (though I can’t find a marmalade recipe credited to Nigella herself on her website – maybe it’s from a book). I found her through the tigress’s “can jam” January citrus round-up of recipes.

The first step was figuring out which citrus to use.  Every year my parents have been sending us a box of oranges and grapefruit at Christmas and a box of Temple oranges at St. Valentine’s Day.  This season after a discussion we settled on ONE box of fruit, the yummy Temples and also grapefruit…usually we take a looonng time to get through all the fruit.  So my husband and I had a discussion and my wonderful smart husband asked me which fruit we take the longest to use up.  That’s the grapefruit, so that became the marmalade ingredient.


  • 5 pink grapefruit
  • juice of 4 lemons (I used the equivalent of bottled lemon juice)
  • about 7 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of local honey (from Lancaster County)

Since marmalade involves the rind, I scrubbed the fruit very well to start with, then cut them in half.  I boiled the halved fruit uncovered for two hours (adding boiling water from a kettle once or twice), and drained the fruit and let it cool.  Meanwhile, I put a couple of plates in the freezer for gel-testing, cleaned my jars and lids, brought my processing water-bath to a boil with my jars inside, and readied my canning tools.

I used a mandoline to slice up the grapefruit halves, then removed some large chunks of membrane and large chunks of rind.  I chopped the large chunks of rind into smaller slices and added them back in, and then I used an immersion blender to make some pieces even smaller, but I did not chop it into such tiny pieces as the cosmic cowgirl did.

Citrus pith, membrane, and seeds contain plenty of pectin, and I saved a bunch of seeds from when I cut the grapefruit in half and put them and the large chunks of membrane I’d removed into a little cloth bag (one of those herb bag thingys for bouquet garni–you could also use cheesecloth or some clean muslin) which went into the pot with the shredded grapefruit, lemon juice, honey and sugar.  I brought the mixture to a boil and kept it at a low boil for a long while…I started gel-testing at about 10 minutes, but it took more like 45 minutes before I felt it was ready.

I filled and wiped my jars, and processed them for 10 minutes.  I got 5.5 pints of marmalade from this recipe, and I can attest that it is yummy on bagels with cream cheese, bread with butter, and bread with peanut butter.

8 Responses to “Marmalade”

  1. thecosmiccowgirl Says:

    hi! so glad to inspire you–your marmalade looks great! using the mandoline is a great idea, although the food processor works best for me because i tend to be lazy. looking forward to seeing more of your posts!

    • teawithbuzz Says:

      I’ve been enjoying poking around on your blog, too! I totally understand lazy, but I wanted bigger rind pieces in my marmalade.

  2. Doris Says:

    Is it correct that you boiled the grapefruit halves for two hours before slicing it? It seems like a very long time. Was there any pulp left after you drained the rinds? And the recipe doesn’t suggest that you added any liquid, except for the lemon juice. The photograph of the cooking marmalade makes it appear that there was plenty of liquid in the mixture…where did it come from? An inquiring mom wants to know…..

    • teawithbuzz Says:

      Yes, I boiled the grapefruit halves for two hours. Yes, there was some pulp left. And you are correct that I did not add any additional liquid other than the lemon juice, but the grapefruit halves were pretty liquid-y. I used the mandoline right over the cooking pot after dumping out the water, and a lot of moisture went in there with the grapefruit slices. I think if you either reserved some of the juicy water from boiling or if you added some OJ it would be fine but might take longer to get to the gel point. By the way, Marisa suggests in her recent three-citrus marmalade post that you can use a thermometer to tell when it is done, but I just kept trying the cold-plate gel test and it came out fine. At least I think so…are you enjoying the jar I sent you?

  3. Joanna Says:

    It looks beautiful!

  4. Doris Says:

    I’m lovin’ it! Guess we’ll continue to send you a box of fruit every year….Love you.

  5. Rich Says:

    I love your grapefruit marmalade. Thanks for sharing your work involved.

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