Home-made gifts 2010 #1 Grapefruit Marmalade

Thursday, 13 May 2010  |  Admin

I'm giving myself a break this year. Although I'm going to do hampers for everyone as usual, I'm starting into them well in advance so that I'm not chocka in October time when I'm going to be really busy with Cheeky Wipes and various trade / retail shows.
I've deliberately avoided the use of the 'christmas' word to avoid scaring everyone out there. You all think I'm weird enough anyway. But in all seriousness, this would make a fantastic gift for anyone at any time of year - make a stash and you'll always have a dinner party gift on hand.
This recipe is from the book Ballymaloe Cookery Course by Darina Allen. You might remember that I made her fabulous Orange Marmalade back in January when Seville oranges were in season. I have to say that particular marmalade is the nicest one I've ever tried as it's not sweet, but has a really dark flavour and I'll often have it on toasted crusty bread for lunch.
This recipe is for the Orange, Lemon & Grapefruit Marmalade and is great for this time of year as it doesn't require seville oranges. The marmalade produced has a deep rich flavour, more orangey than I had expected, rather than grapefruit-ey? However this could be because I didn't stir it enough while it was boiling to it had started to caramelise! Whatever, it made a fantastic marmalade that I'll definitely be trying again. Enjoy!
2 sweet oranges & 2 grapefruit weighing 3 lbs in total4 unwaxed lemons6 pints water6 lbs sugar
Wash the fruit, cut each piece in half and squeeze out the juice. Cut the halved fruit in half again and scrape off any membrane with a knife. Set aside scraped off membrane and then slice the rind across ways.

Put the juice, rind and water in a bowl.

Put the membrane and pips into a muslin bag and add to the bowl ( I use a Cheeky Wipes Mesh Bagwhich is perfect for the job).

Leave overnight.

Next day, simmer the fruits and water in a big stainless steel saucepan for 1 1.2 - 2 hours or until the peel is really soft, covering the pan for the first half hour. The liquid should be reduced by half to two-thirds of the original volume.
Towards the end of this period of time, warm your sugar in the over at 180c for 10 minutes.Then remove the muslin / mesh bag from the pan and stir in the warm sugar.
Bring to the boil and boil hard until it reaches setting point (wrinkles when dropped on a cold plate) (mine took almost an hour, but was supposed to take only 8 - 10 mins?)

Pour into sterilised jars (warm from the dishwasher is fine) and cover while hot.
With this recipe it's really important that the rind is really soft before you add the sugar, otherwise it will harden. Yuck.

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