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Friday, March 18, 2011

Foody Friday: Easy home canning

Down here at the tip of the USA we grow a lot of citrus, and even in a bad crop year the winter prices are phenomenal. I decided to save some of the delicious, dirt-cheap grapefruit by making marmalade. I based this recipe off a combination of my favorite orange marmalade and several other recipes, and I must say it is not only quite good but the easiest canning recipe ever. So if you have never made preserves before, this is an excellent way to learn.
This is a dark, rich marmalade, a little on the bitter side. If you like sweeter preserves, reduce the amount of lemon juice by half and add an additional 1/4 C brown sugar

Dark grapefruit marmalade
4 grapefruit. I used pink but I imagine ruby red would be incredibly delicious! Do not prick or break skins.

3 C white sugar
2 C packed dark brown sugar
1/4 C lemon juice

Equipment needed:
Six half pint jars. You can buy them here. Run them through the dishwasher before you use them.

Large pot to make the preserves - I used a pasta pot.
Large pot to process the preserves - it has to be big enough to cover the jars with water. I used my big dutch oven. If your pot is smaller just process small batches (1 or 2 jars) at a time.
Candy thermometer is completely optional

Spoon, ladle, sharp knife; immersion ("stick") blender optional.

1. Wash the grapefruit and put them in the pot, peel on. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and boil for an hour and 15 minutes. You may have to add more boiling water as the water level goes down. Every so often you can turn the fruit with a spoon. PS - while you are boiling the grapefruit your house will smell amazing.

2. Drain the water out and let the grapefruit cool. I left mine in the pot overnight because I ran out of time to finish the project.
3. Chop the grapefruit up. It's best to do this in the pot so you don't lose any juices; an easy way to do this is with a short bladed knife or with an immersion blender after slicing the fruit. Just chop it up until the peel pieces are as small as you'd like them. Pick out seeds as you encounter them.
4. Add the sugar and lemon to the pot; stir as you bring the jelly to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes or until it starts to jell. You can tell: it gets thick, darker, and the consistency of jelly. If you dip the spoon in, the liquid will cool into jelly on the spoon. If you have a candy thermometer, boil until temp reaches 220; I tried this but I got sick of the thermometer being in the way and got rid of it. You don't need it.
Seconds after this picture was taken I dropped the thermometer into the pot...then the sink. Not worth the trouble.

5. Ladle preserves into clean pint jars, filling almost completely up (if you have extra marmalade put it in your fridge; if the marmalade doesn't totally fill the jar you can't get a seal and the preserves will go bad in a few months. I got about another 1/2 jar which I stuck in my fridge and am eating on toast!).If you drip on the outside of the jar, it's no biggie - it will get clean in the hot water bath.

6. Screw lids on and prepare hot water bath by placing a towel in the bottom of a pot and putting the jars on it. Fill with water. Note to new canners: You may hear a "pop" as the jars seal at this point. You still have to process them in hot water to get a true seal.
What's for dinner, dear? Oh, a couple of jars.

7. Put pot on the stove, bring to a boil, and boil jars for ten minutes. You will hear each lid pop as it seals. When you are done each lid should be tightly sealed and flat.

There. You're done. Delicious marmalade for almost no work at all!


  1. Yum! I think I would really like this as I love grapefruit! Sounds delicious!

  2. amazing. need to try this one day! so 4 grapefruits made 6 jars?

    here's a general read about yasso's:,7120,s6-238-244-255-624-0,00.html
    basically you just take your goal marathon time and make it your 800 time. ie, a 3:30 marathon = 3min30sec 800s. you build up to 8-10 repeats during marathon training and supposedly it's indicates whether you can run that goal marathon time. i don't know about all that, but it's an easy way to figure out how fast to do 800 repeats.

  3. (i don't think i have your email address)

    an 800 is 2-laps around a standard track. i can't imagine any local school having a longer track, but you never know. if you don't have a garmin or nike+ i would pull it up on and "map" a lap around the track. as long as you're somewhat near 0.25 then it's standard.

    you could also do these on "regular terrain" / your regular routes for an different challenge since tracks are guaranteed pancake flat. sometimes i do them on 'the road' vs on the track, i mapped out a 0.5mi stretch on mapmyrun to know (roughly) where to start/stop.

    let me know if you have any other questions, although i am clearly not an expert/professional! :)

    lindsay at chasingthekenyans dot com