Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade December 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 10:05 pm
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After purchasing my Naval Orange Tree, I returned to Sledd Nursery to get another one as a gift for a friend.  The nursery had gotten another citrus shipment, and had several Ruby Red Grapefruit trees, laden with fruit.  I got a bit weak in the knees upon sight of one with eight nearly ripe grapefruits on it.  The mental justification began, and it came home with me.   During one of the rainy days this last weekend, I pulled down my How To Be A Domestic Goddess cookbook, by Nigella Lawson.  Like magic, it opened to the page for Pink Grapefruit Marmalade.  I was immediately attracted to this recipe, because it called for boiling the grapefruits, whole, for two hours, which I thought would take away some of their bitterness.

First, I ate grapefruit to get the taste of it before proceeding.  Then, doubling the recipe to use all of my grapefruits before the (now upon us, freeze), I put the fruit into boil.

Boiling Grapefruit


After two hours, they became very soft.  I went out to run errands while they cooled.

Boiled Grapefruit


Once cooled, I started slicing and chopping the fruit, and at first forgetting to remove the seeds.

Chopping the softened fruit


I was excited by the color, and had an inkling of an idea that it was going to turn out pretty.  I chopped the pieces smaller than I did with my orange marmalade, based on comments by the family members I tested it on.  These were softer from the boiling as well.  Once chopped, it all went into a pan with the organic sugar and lemon juice, and heated on low until the sugar dissolved.  Once the sugar was dissolved, I turned up the heat and simmered until it passed the frozen spoon test.

Simmered down


I took Nigella’s suggestion, and put in a glug of rum, for good measure.  Then I put the mixture into steralized, hot jars, then into a waterbath for 10 minutes.  The end result is such a gorgeous color, I couldn’t be happier.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade


The marmalade set up appropriately, and when tested the following day on a cracker with some Full Quiver Neufchatel, it was delicious.  I think the boiling eliminated a lot of the bitterness from the peel, and I will use this method now on for all of my citrus marmalades.

G and S Groves has oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes for sale now.  You can order the oranges and grapefruits through for pick up at just about all of the farmer’s markets and at the farm.  Get your marmalade on!


Organic Orange and Meyer Lemon Marmalade November 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 8:48 am
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A couple of weeks ago, I watched Ina Garten make an incredible gift basket of Date, Nut Bread, Orange Marmalade, Orange  Cream Cheese, and Muesli.  Ever since I saw that old episode, I have been obsessed with making orange marmalade, and recreating a similar gift basket.

So, my friend Stephanie, was placing an order to G and S Groves, an organic citrus grower in the valley, and offered to order me a box of oranges.  I picked up my box on Monday, and it was a huge!  The Mars oranges that are in season now, are fairly thin skinned, and are not really pretty.  I didn’t think a marmalade would be like I wanted with just these oranges, so I picked a couple Naval Oranges off of my new tree, an indiscretion that came pre-loaded with exactly four nearly ripe oranges.

Naval Orange Tree

The recipe called for lemons, but I needed a use for the remaining Meyer Lemons on my tree, so I picked two.

Slicing Oranges and Lemons

The recipe called for the oranges and lemons to be cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thinly.  Once I finished slicing, probably not as thinly as I should have, I put all of the citrus in the pot of water and brought it to a boil.  Next, I removed it from the heat and added in the organic sugar, and set it aside, covered.   The recipe called for it to sit overnight, but I deemed 4 hours enough time, and the sugar was certainly dissolved in that time.  The house smelled so citrusy and delicious all day.

Starting out

After 4 hours, I bought the mixture up to a simmer, and simmered it for 2 hours.  Once it had cooked down, I brought it back up to a boil and stuck in the thermometer.  I watched and waited until it reached 220 (or nearly,) about 20 minutes.  I need a better thermometer, mine only goes to 220 and seems resistant to reach that point.

Cooking down the marmalade

Next, I sterilized the jars, and lined them up for ladling the mixture into the jars.  It turned out such a pretty color.  I processed the jars in a water bath for about 15 minutes.

All lids down on Orange Marmalade

I’m looking forward to making winter citrus centered gift baskets this year, and this marmalade will be the anchor.  I still have lots of oranges left to process, so I might just make more of this, it is so tasty and pretty.

The original recipe is here: