Christmas marmalade

After really enjoying getting into making jam this year, I’m planning a trio of preserves as Christmas pressies for various relatives.

My mum has given me a fabulous book by Midge Thomas called Best-kept Secrets of the Women’s Institute, Jams, Pickles & Chutneys which is bursting full of seasonal recipes, fabulous hints and tips and a wealth of preserve know-how.

I was a bit nervous about making marmalade for the first time, so selected a recipe that didn’t require a great deal of faffing about. However I also wanted to find a preserve that had a bit of character, that you perhaps wouldn’t find in the shops.

Pink Grapefruit and Cranberry sounded perfect – zingy, festive and a bit of a quirky combo.

I’ve been saving my jars religiously so got them all washed up and warming in the oven. I wasn’t prepared for just HOW MUCH marmalade I would produce. There was blinking loads of the stuff!!!!! I ended up filling really over-sized coffee jars with it!

It’s great having so much though, coz as well as the Christmas gifts, it’s really nice to give to people as a little thank-you when you’ve been for lunch or they’ve picked your little one up from school.

We were all really unwell in our house last week, so the fabulous citrus smells wafting through the house as the marmalade bubbled on the stove felt really cleansing somehow. I don’t know about you but a bit of marmalade on toast is a wonderful first meal after you’ve not eaten for 24 hours coz of a tummy bug.

It’s a chunky marmalade with bags of zesty flavour that packs a punch but is sweetened by the cranberries. It’s great on hot buttered toast but also fabulous on toasted brioche!

I’ve just got a chutney and a jam to make and that’s one set of Christmas presents out of the way.

Pink Grapefruit & Cranberry Marmalade (makes about 4.5kg)

1.5kg pink grapefruit, sliced, pips removed
150g dried cranberries
2 litres water
juice of 1 lemon or 2 tsp citric acid
1 kg sugar

1. Placed the sliced grapefruit and the cranberries, wiht the water and the lemon juice or citric acid, in a large saucepan and simmer, covered, until the peel is very tender. This can also be done in a large casserole in the oven. (I performed the pectin test* at this point.)

2. Transfer the fruit and liquid to a large preserving pan and add the sugar (I warmed the sugar up in the microwave first), stirring until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil and test for a set after 5 minutes*. It does set quite quickly – usually within 10 minutes. Remove any scum.

3. Pour into cooled, sterilised jars, seal and label.

*For more details on performing a pectin test and also testing for setting point, see my blog post Jam Masterclass


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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14 Responses to Christmas marmalade

  1. What a great combo – I might just be inspired to get to preserve making!

  2. segarra says:

    the marmelade is liquid and watery i did exactly the recepice
    don t understand may be not enough sugar 1 kg for 2 litres of water ,,,
    thanking you

    • rhwfoodie says:

      Hiya! I’m sorry to hear your marmalade didn’t quite work out Mine was quite runny, but not watery. Did you cook the fruit for long enough before adding the sugar? I perform a test with meths to ensure the pectin has been released before adding the sugar.

  3. Pingback: Days of Christmas….A Festive Marmalade | El Moorish

  4. El Moorish says:

    I’ve finally posted the marmalade inspired by this on my blog (including a ping back, of course) 🙂

    Happy holidays x

    • rhwfoodie says:

      Thanks for mentioning me on your blog – very chuffed!!! Your recipe sounds delicious and I’ll definitely be getting more adventurous with my next marmalade efforts. I’m finding the whole preserve making affair quite therapeutic and addictive!

  5. Antonia says:

    Do you leave the peel on the grapefruit? Or do you remove it?

  6. Antonia says:

    Having never made marmalade before I wasn’t 100% sure. Even though you did say you should I had to double check! I made your plum & mulled wine jam and it’s turned out fantastic, think I over boiled it slightly but I’m happy with it as I have had a few testers on toast. My marmalade however is quite watery , is there any way I can put it back in the pan and reboil it? It tastes pretty good, v grapefruity mind. Sorry to be a pest, hope you can help!


  7. Pingback: Home-made gift: Rum and raisin marmalade | Feeding boys and a firefighter

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