Me Made Marmalade


Marmalade! Its been a bit of a love/hate relationship. I love making it but don’t really like eating it too much. Which is odd really since I like drinking gin and the bitterness of the marmalade always reminds me of gin! But give me some thinly sliced brown bread, toasted & slathered with butter (not margarine), & I’ll tuck away a slice now & then.

I’m quite willing to openly admit that I have been afraid of making marmalade. No logical reason, given that twelve months ago I’d never made any.
Its always seemed shrouded in mystery to me. One of those things that, I think, those that are in the know like to maintain is difficult to master.

Like baking.
Baking, recently thanks to TV, has been elevated to a fine art form that celebrity chefs & personalities seem to be spending hours telling us that now ‘anyone’ can do. Temperature this, pop it in the fridge that, measure carefully, use this, don’t tie your apron too tightly…of course we can do it & we should do it, just don’t try to scare us into not doing it by telling us how easy it is while trying to convince us its complicated but you’ll do us a favour by explaining it to us! It’s not rocket science. Its a thing to be enjoyed not feared. I keep trying to say to Himself, relax; so what if you’ve not got the ‘right’ size tin or the…oh wait, I’m off on one again aren’t I?
And, breathe…..
Lets get back to the marmalade.
I came across a recipe for pink grapefruit & cranberry marmalade that I thought would be lovely for Christmas. It was in a book by the Australian Woman’s Weekly. If you’ve ever used them you’ll know how simple & straight forward their recipes (for anything) are. It was an epiphany! Why had I been so afraid?
Sure, it’s a bit time consuming prepping your fruit but jamming is about time. To me it’s a valid excuse to take time out & focus on ONE thing, not the 6 billion other things I need to get done (stuff the hoovering!).
And you can walk away from this pan while your rind is softening in simmering water (oh…guess that’s the hoovering then)

I think marmalade appeals to the waste-not-want-not side of me. The satisfaction of using nearly all of the fruit to make something to eat? Yes please! Plus there’s the sparkly jewel-like colour of this particular marmalade that the five year old magpie in me just can’t get enough of.

So, let me share the recipe with you & set you free from marmalade phobia.

675g pink grapefruit (approx 2) I used Ruby
juice & pips of 2 lemons
225g cranberries fresh or frozen (I used dried, see below for additional instructions*)
900ml water (plus an additional 500ml if using dried cranberries)
1.3kg granulated sugar

*If using dried cranberries soak for half an hour, while slicing the grapefruit, in 70ml water or spirit of your choice (I used port with it being for Christmas) then microwave for 45 seconds to swell the cranberries.

Wash, halve & quarter the grapefruit & slice thinly. Keep the pips (I didn’t have any) & any juice that runs out.
Tie the grapefruit & lemon pips in a muslin bag & place in a large pan with the grapefruit slices, juice & lemon juice.

Add the water & bring to a boil. Cover & simmer for 1½-2 hours until the rind is very tender. It will be translucent. Remove the muslin bag, cool then squeeze over the pan.

Add the cranberries (and additional water if using) to the pan & bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the berries have popped & softened.

Add the sugar & stir on  a low heat until dissolved. Now boil rapidly for about 10 minutes, or until setting point is reached.

Remove from the heat, skim off any scum from the surface (its not yukky or anything, just unsightly in your jars)

Pour into warm sterilized jars. Label when cold.
Keeps for 12 months & makes approximately 2.25kg (5llb)

Great choice for toast and equally at home on cold roast turkey…my tummy rumbles as I type!

What are you waiting for? Or do you want to get that hoovering done?