Preserved: Grapefruit Marmalade
This grapefruit marmalade, inspired by my dad's annual juice craze, embodies everything I love best about freshly squeezed juice: the tiny bits of pulp; the citrusy aroma; and the clean, fresh flavor.
My parents have been married for more than 30 years, and they still have the same juicer they got as a wedding gift. It's lime green and it sounds like a lawn mower. Every winter, without fail, my dad takes it down from the shelf, dusts it off, and begins his juice-making season. It's his attempt to ramp up his vitamin C intake and ward off colds and the flu. If you spend the night at my parents' house any time between December and April, you can count on the juicer to wake you up bright and early, and my dad to thrust a (freshly squeezed!) glass under your nose at the breakfast table.
Not that I'm complaining. Who doesn't love freshly squeezed citrus juice? While my dad prefers Florida oranges (and orders them by the crateful), I've always been partial to bright, sweet pink grapefruit. Since I don't have the time to make juice every morning, not to mention the space for a juicer in my tiny Brooklyn kitchen, I set out to make a grapefruit marmalade that embodied everything I love about my dad's juice.
Citrus rinds are naturally high in pectin. Because of this, most recipes for marmalade don't call for added pectin, and instead they direct you to slowly simmer the fruit for a long time until it thickens. But spending so much time over heat can dull the flavors of the fruit. Since I wanted my marmalade to taste like freshly squeezed juice, I decided to use powdered fruit pectin, which drastically reduces cooking time.
While stripping and mincing the rind from the grapefruits is a bit laborious, once that step is out of the way, the rest of the preparation is a breeze. I kept this recipe as simple as possible, but feel free to play with the flavors. Substitute two oranges for one of the grapefruits, or toss half a split vanilla bean into the pot along with the chopped fruit. This recipe makes slightly more than seven half-pints. You could preserve the last bit in a smaller 4-ounce jar, or just stash it in a plastic container in the fridge. Trust me, it won't last long.
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About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.