As I was thumbing through the recipe book for The Cooking of the British Isles, one recipe that caught my eye was Grapefruit Marmalade (p6). Now, I have never really liked marmalade, but I do like grapefruit and hope springs eternal. I have enjoyed making various kinds of confitures since we've been in France, so I thought I'd give this a try.
The recipe calls for three grapefruits to make 4 pints of marmalade. I decided that a 1/3 recipe with one grapefruit, which should yield over two cups of marmalade, was more than enough. When I went to buy a grapefruit, there were only red ones to be found, so that's what I bought.
Marmalade is actually quite simple to make, at least following this recipe. The only tedious part is removing the peel and slicing it into little 1" by 1/8"strips . Then you remove and discard the white pith. Cut the fruit in half crosswise. Wrap each half in a double thickness of damp cheesecloth and squeeze the juice into a bowl to collect the juice. When you're done with this for all the halves, wrap all the squeezed pulp in the cheesecloth and tie securely. Add enough water to the bowl to make 3-1/2 quarts liquide, for me only 1-1/6 quarts. Drop in the bag of pulp and the strips of peel, then let the bowl stand at room temp for at least 12 hours.
When you're ready to deal with it again, pour everything, cheesecloth bag included, into a stainless steel pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Because I had a smaller amount, the pot was pretty low on liquid well before it reached two hours, so I added another slog of water. After it's cooked, remove the cheesecloth bag and measure the mixture, then add one cup sugar for every cup of mixture, about 1 cup at this point. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then increase the heat and boil briskly for about 30 minutes until the marmalade reaches 220F on your candy thermometer. This actually took less time than advertised, maybe because I was cooking a smaller volume. Skim off any foam and put in jars.
I should have had over 2 cups, but had close to 1 cup altogether. Not sure if this was because I was making a smaller amount or the recipe is slightly off. This is a small jar with part of the marmalade.
The day I finished this happened to be the birthday of an English friend, so I gave her one of my jars. It happens that her husband doesn't like marmalade, so she doesn't get it often and was happy to have it. She reported the next day "Three cheers for Red Grapefruit Marmalade! Absolutely delish. Thank you!" That was pleasing to hear, because I didn't really like the bit I tried on my morning pain. I'm still not a marmalade convert. But I tried.
Sunday marks the end of the period with The Cooking of the British Isles. I'll start reading the next book on the schedule next week. But I still have several recipes marked to try in the next weeks.
Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their cookbook-of-the-month. You could even join in if you want!