Christmas is less than three weeks away and I know for a fact that you have not bought a single present for anyone. In fact, I know that you’ve gone shopping and bought a ton of stuff for yourself and nothing for anyone else. It’s time to stop being so selfish and make some presents. It’s jam time.
This grapefruit cranberry marmalade is a surprising jam. You’re expecting it to be really tart because it’s grapefruit and cranberries. And it does have a tartness to it. But mostly it’s pretty mellow. Perfect for toast and sandwiches, and you can be certain that no one you are giving it to already has that flavor in their fridge. Unless you are giving it to us. We have a lot.
A general note on jars and canning. I use Ball jars with rings and rims. For home preserving you should always use new sealing rims. Jars and rings can be reused as long as they are in excellent condition, but inspect them carefully for even tiny chips or cracks. Your jars should be absolutely, sparking clean. This recipe is meant for those familiar with the basics of canning. If you are a novice, please refer to the Ball canning site and follow their guidelines for safe canning practices.
I use Pamona’s pectin for my jam, if you are using another variety, follow the instructions that accompany the box. Generally speaking, use a little less traditional pectin than you would with Pamona’s.
Grapefruit Cranberry Marmalade
2 14 oz. packages of fresh cranberries, picked over and rinsed
6 ruby red grapefruits
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water (if needed)
3-4 tablespoons Pamona’s Pectin powder and 3-4 tablespoons calcium water
pinch of salt
Peel the rind of the grapefruits, include as little white pith as possible. Cut the rind into very thin strips and set aside. Cut the pith off of the grapefruit, and carefully supreme, or section, all of the fruit. Be sure and collect all of the grapefruit juice as you go.
In a non-reactive pot or dutch oven, combine the grapefruit rind, sections, and any juice. Simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the cranberries, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to simmer for 2 hours, stirring frequently. Add water if needed. When the marmalade has cooked down considerably and is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, sprinkle in the pectin and add the calcium water. Bring the jam up to a boil, and then turn the heat off. Place a small amount of jam on the frozen plate and see if it holds together and wrinkles up when touched. If it is weepy, add another tablespoon of pectin and calcium water, bring back to a boil, and then turn off the heat and test again. Keep doing this until your jam is just right.
Meanwhile, wash 6 1/2 pint jars, lids, and rims in hot, soapy water. Find a large stock pot that will accommodate all of them, place the jars, lids, and rims inside and fill with water. Cover and bring to boil. Once the water has boiled, and sterilized the jars, turn off the heat and set the pot, jars and all, aside.
When you are ready to fill the jars, remove them from the hot water and ladle in the jam, leaving 1/4” head space in each jar. Carefully wipe the jar rims and screw the lid and rings in place. Immerse the jars in the same water used to sterilize, making any needed volume adjustments, and making sure there is 1” of water covering the tops of the jars. Process the jam at a moderate boil for 15 minutes. Carefully remove them from heat and set aside. Listen for the magic popping sound of the lids sealing.
Voila, homemade presents for the ones you love.