I tend to like experimenting with things. I rarely follow a pattern or recipe 100% exactly. I’m sure many of you are the same way. When I started canning, that inclination disappeared. Canning intimidated me. If you do something different with a sewing pattern, the worst that can happen is you have to rip out some seams. If you change up a stir fry it might not taste all that great. Even baking, which I often avoid because of its fussiness, just leaves you with an inedible mess if your alterations go awry.
Canning is another story. If you screw up canning, you can give someone botulism and land them in the hospital. That’s what I gathered, anyway, and for my first year of canning I wouldn’t change so much as a grain of sugar in my recipes. Then I started reading Tigress in a Jam. Going over the entries to her Can Jam 2010, I saw a ton of experimentation gone right. It encouraged me enough to try my own modifications.
That’s how I created:Spiced Grapefruit Marmalade
adapted from Grapefruit Marmalade recipe in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
The grapefruits I used were actually a cross between a grapefruit and an orange. It also turned out more syrupy than I would have liked. I’m hoping to revise the recipe in the future to give you one that gels much more nicely.
Makes about 3 half-pints. Takes (me) about 1.5 hours to prepare with at least 12 hours of resting time.
About 2 1/2 smaller grapefruit. Since mine were hybrids they were pretty small. You’ll need to get 1 1/3 cups of pulp out of them.
6 cups of water
Sugar (have at least 6 cups on hand to be safe)
2/3 cup of citrus peel. You can definitely use the grapefruit, but I used kishu peels because they were available and different. Also, since they’re so thin, there was less work to remove the white rind.
As in all of my recipes, I didn’t measure exact amounts of spice for this. Instead I’ll give you the types of spices I used and you can adjust to your tastes. You could also use mulling spices, because that’s basically what this is.
Mix your spice mix in a shallow wide bowl. Cut the grapefruits in half and dip the open end in the spices. Place peel side down in an oven safe pan and put under the broiler for a few minutes, just until the top is starting to brown.
Remove the pulp from the grapefruit once they’ve cooled a little. Remove the seeds from the pulp as you go.
Chop up your citrus peel and cover with 2 cups of water; boil 10 minutes; drain. Add the pulp and 1 qt of water to drained peel; boil 10 more minutes.
Cover and let stand overnight (at least 12 hours). I did not read this part of the recipe before I started and let me tell you… it’s no fun getting all your canning stuff out on Sunday only to find your going to have to do most of the work after you get out of work at 7:30 on Monday.
After it sets, move the mixture back to the stove. Cook rapidly until peel is tender. Measure the mixture and add 1 cup of sugar for each cup of fruit mixture, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Cook rapidly almost to gelling point.
Remove from heat. Put into half-pint jars, leaving 1/4″ of headspace.
Process for 10 minutes in boiling-water canner.
Try on a toasted raisin bread. If it’s too liquidy, like mine, you can always use it on pancakes. Mmmm…