Thursday, 15 May 2008

grapefruit, rosewater & vanilla marmalade

As I have said before, I’m not a big grapefruit fan, but I’ve been trialling recipes recently and here is my second brilliant success.

This is the launch of my Pickles & Preserves Week. It’s not a blogging event, it’s just my commitment that every day for the next 7 days I will share one of my pickles or preserves recipes.

You see, I must confess that I’ve gone a little jam and pickle mad lately. After a visit to a friend's house and walking out with a jar of her brilliant apricot jam, I was inspired to make my own.

And so I did. Three kinds in three weeks. And pickles too.

Every time Jonas came home, I was bottling something new like an insane 1950s housewife.

I have found a new passion and so I want to share it with everyone through my Pickles & Preserves Week, starting today with a Grapefruit, Rosewater & Vanilla Marmalade.

I can’t claim this is my invention, that brilliant accolade goes to Mercedes from Desert Candy, a blog I recently discovered and which became an immediate favourite of mine.

The vanilla and floral sweetness from the rosewater balance out any residual bitterness from the grapefruit. Jonas just loved this marmalade and ate it on toast until it was all gone!

Grapefruit, Rosewater & Vanilla Marmalade
Based on a recipe by Desert Candy. Makes approximately 500ml.
3 large ruby red grapefruits
1½ cups water
4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons rose water
1. Preheat oven to 180’C. Place a small saucer in the freezer to cool.
2. Remove the peel of one grapefruit in large strips, being careful not to take any bitter white pith. Slice peel into very, very thin strips.
3. From the peeled grapefruit, remove any remaining white pith. Peel and de-pith the remaining grapefruit.
4. Over a bowl to collect juices, segment all three grapefruit, squeezing any remaining juices from the membranes.
5. Spread the sugar on a tray and heat it in hot oven, taking care not to burn it (approx 10 minutes).
6. In a saucepan, add the water, grapefruit segments, juices and the thin strips of peel.
7. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthways, scrape out seeds, then add bean and seeds to saucepan.
8. Bring saucepan ingredients to the boil then remove the sugar from the oven and gently stir it into the grapefruit mixture.
9. Bring to a boil again, then lower heat and simmer until the marmalade is thick and translucent (approx. 1 hour).
10. Check to see if marmalade is ready by dropping a small amount onto the chilled saucer and allowing to set for 30 seconds. Run your finger through the mixture. If it wrinkles rather than runs, it has reached its setting point.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in rosewater, then pour into jars, tightly screw on lid and then turn jars upside down to create vacuum seals (takes approx. 30 minutes).

Grapefruit was first documented in Barbados in 1750 by a man called Reverend Griffith Hughes who believed the grapefruit was one of the “seven wonders of Barbados”, although it was known as a shaddock or shattuck until the 1800s.

The USA is the world’s top producer of grapefruit, where it was introduced to Florida in 1823. China and Mexico are the two next largest producers.

The grapefruit is a subtropical, evergreen citrus tree with fruits of white, pink and red pulps, each varying in sweetness.

Grapefruits, a hybrid of the pomelo (Citrus maxima) and sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)
only became popular with the commercialisation of the red grapefruit varieties in the 19th century.

Grapefruit is high in vitamin C, pectin fibre and the antioxidant lycopene. It is also said to lower cholesterol and its low glycemic index helps your metabolism to burn fat.

According to Wikipedia “A 2007 study found a correlation between eating a quarter of grapefruit daily and a 30% increase in risk for breast cancer in post-menopausal women. The study points to the inhibition of CYP3A4 enzyme by grapefruit, which metabolizes estrogen.”

This recipe is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Gay from A Scientist in the Kitchen. Enjoy!




  1. It sounds so interesting, and I love grapefruit. BTW, I agree that Desert Candy is such a fine blog, love it!

  2. I can't say I like grapefruit as we don't get that much grapefruit in this part of the world. But I like the idea of making my own marmalade.

  3. This sound so good! I can even use it as a glaze or marinade for some BBQ..I'm just thinking wild. :)

  4. This sounds wonderful...and it seems like you have been pickling/preserving like a maniac. me too.

  5. OMG - this is just an amazing collection of pickles and preserves. Thank you for sharing!


  6. Grapefruit, rose and vanilla sound like a perfect combination. I've never made marmalade before, but I have made quite a few jams, and there's always this really satisfactory (Martha Stewart kind of) feeling when you've bottled them all up and hand written each label.

  7. What a beautiful combo of flavours for this preserve it looks amazing!

    Many thanks for all your yummy entries and for partaking in this event :)

    Rosie x

  8. OH MY....this sounds wonderful!!!!


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