Grapefruit Marmalade

in Condiments, Fruit, Grapefruit

Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade

Happiness comes in a jar.

I’ll also concede that it often comes in a corked bottle. And a salt-rimmed glass. But for today, it’s jarred.

Last Christmas, my Secret Santa Megan sent me a jar of her homemade Pink Grapefruit Marmalade in my squee-inducing box of goodies. And it was gone in no-time (as was the tomatillo jelly). Never underestimate the power of a tablespoon of citrusy marmalade when combined with a warm biscuit!

After scraping the jar so clean that I could have put it straight into the cabinet, I set out to make a batch of my own with my favorite Rio Star grapefruit. I found Nigella Lawson’s low-maintenance method on ChowHound and really liked the idea of being able to throw a bunch of fruit in the pot and catching up on DVRed Revenge and Supernatural. And Alcatraz.

And Big Bang Theory. We have a small-ish TV problem in this house.

The first batch I made was pretty bitter – even for a grapefruit addict like myself – so I only included the peel from half of the grapefruit in the second batch – it was much more balanced. I also didn’t have enough sugar the second time so I supplemented it by scraping the very last drop of honey out of that little plastic bear (lazy shopping week… they happen… a lot). Excellent decision. The marmalade is sweet, has the slight hint of honey, and finishes with that wonderful grapefruit bitterness.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade

Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade

A beautifully balanced grapefruit marmalade with a slight hint of honey.


  • 2 large ruby red grapefruit, about 1 1/2 lbs (Texas grapefruit, if possible)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey (or more sugar)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 drops red gel food coloring (optional)
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Wash and quarter the grapefruit, removing any large seeds.
  2. Place in a 3-4 qt pot and cover with just enough water to make the grapefruit float.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, adding additional water occasionally to keep the grapefruit from resting on the bottom of the pot.
  4. Remove from heat, drain, and let the grapefruit wedges cool.
  5. Transfer 1/2 of the grapefruit wedges to the bowl of a food processor.
  6. Use a spoon to scrape the flesh from the remaining 4 wedges into the food processor bowl, leaving the membranes and pith behind. Discard unused grapefruit peels.
  7. Process for 10-15 seconds, until there aren't any large pieces of grapefruit peel left (I tried to keep the chunks smaller than a dime).
  8. Return the mixture to the pot and add the sugar, honey (if using), salt, and lemon juice.
  9. Heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
  10. Bring to a boil and let cook 15-20 minutes. The marmalade is done when a small teaspoonful is placed on the cold plate and it forms a skin within 1-2 minutes that wrinkles when you lightly tough it.
  11. Stir in 1-2 drops of gel food coloring, if using.
  12. Remove from heat and ladle into prepared jars.
  13. You can either process the jars in a water bath or just store them in the fridge if you plan to use them as quickly as I do (that's why I made such a small batch).


Yields: 1 1/2 pints (48 1-Tbsp servings)

Adapted from How to Be a Domestic Goddess

Estimated time: 3 hours

Nutritional Information
Calories: 56.7 | Fat: 0g | Fiber .2g | Protein .1g | Carbs 14.8g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 2

21 comments… add one
  • I would love a big spoonful of this marmalade right now! Slathered on a warm biscuit :). Oh and we have a small TV problem here too. But it’s OK, it our guilty pleasure!

  • Marmalade is one of my favorite toast toppers. This looks like a fantastic twist on the “normal” of every day. I’d love to make it for gifts like your friend did too! What beautiful color!

  • Ahhhhhh, yes! I think I need to make a pinterest board just for grapefruit and pin all your recipes! 😉

  • Mmm I haven’t tried anything like this before! It sounds lovely.

  • One of my big goals is to make some sort of homemade jam or marmalade. You make it sound so simple! Like something I could handle! 🙂

  • Would you believe I’ve never had marmalade? This looks so good for breakfast right now!

  • OMG, I can’t even flipping imagine. Have some gorgeous fruits laying around, I think I’ve found today’s project!

  • This sounds awesome! I bet it would be great on pancakes. I really want to try this now!

  • Amy V.

    Oh, I have been waiting for this recipe ever since you posted it on facebook! YUM! Perfect recipe for a blah and gloomy NY day! 🙂

  • Hahahaha, I’m looking at your beautiful photos and reading the post… all I can think is, “What did ya think of the last episode of Revenge?!” 😉 Major TV problem in my house, too, and now even worse that Big Bang Theory’s been syndicated. As for the marmalade… beautiful! I might try it with oranges, as I have a ton in my kitchen right now. Think that’ll work just as well?

    • It. Was. Great. I totally didn’t see that coming (I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that one character). But I’m pretty sure we won’t see what’s coming next, either 🙂

  • Megan the Marmalade Maker

    Do you have a pressure cooker? I recently discovered that you can cook the grapefruit in less than 20 minutes that way and it doesn’t take as much water. It has definitely made it easier for me to power through our supply!

    • I do not have a pressure cooker but I will definitely keep that in mind!

  • It took a while but grapefruits are finally tasting GOOD over here…so I will surely be making this to preserve some of them for when i’m craving them in summer!

  • Just what we were looking for, a Grapefruit Marmalade recipe!! Your lovely recipe will be perfect for the 4 large ruby red grapefruit in our fridge. Love the color…
    Cheers ?
    J & C

  • This sounds (and looks) delicious! I love all of your grapefruit recipes.

  • The Papa Bear has a major thing for grapefruit. You might have just blown his furry mind, dear lady. Definitely going to make this.

  • This is a great recipe. I was so excited to try it, as it is citrus season here in Arizona. I had never had marmalade before, and I have discovered that I don’t like it which is a real bummer. But the recipe is wonderful and easy to follow, and it was a lot of fun to make. Now I just have to find someone to give my marmalade away to!

  • Aquaria

    Must try. I live in South Texas, so grapefruit are abundant and cheap. I think a 10 pound bag here runs about $2.50 (seriously).

    I solved my TV problem: I turned it off in the 90s. My son used it for video games until he moved out (sniff) three years ago. Since then, I have used it a total of maybe–maybe–16 hours.

    Haven’t missed it since. Won’t miss it. American TV repulses me.

  • tish

    I have been coking marmalade for yars and years. I think the smell of it cooking is almost as good as the end result!

  • Besides putting it on toast WHAT DO YOU PUT IT ON (or in)? I bought some to try, too bitter. Wondering if there is anything I could BAKE with it??? I like orange marmalade on green beans.

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