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Do Ruby Reds make okay marmalade?

  • Pei Aug 28, 2006 05:00 PM

It occured to me that I could combine my desire to learn how to make marmalade with the plethora of ruby red grapefruit in the farmers' market in my area ($2 for fifteen pounds!).

But does ruby red marmalade taste good? I could combine it with equal amounts of navel (also cheap and tasty), but I was wondering if the pith of a ruby red is just too thick to be any good in a marmalade period. I like marmalade's bitter edge, but haven't ever tried grapefruit.

Should I add lemons to the mix too, for a three citrus marmalade?

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  1. I love red grapefruit marmalade! Of all the marmalades I make (orange, blood orange, lemon, lime and mixed), this is by far my favorite. Make it straight up, no other citrus. I slice the fruit in my processor, then trim a fair amount of the thick pith away. Otherwise it's too bitter. I can't give you an accurate estimate of how much pith to leave, it's a matter of taste. Ruby is sweeter than white, so adjust your recipe if it's for white grapefruit. BTW the final product is beautiful, a deep blush color.

    Remember that grapefruit is heavy, a few will make a lot of marmalade. I think I used 4 last time and ended up with about 4-6 quarts. But I don't think you can ever have enough.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cheryl_h

      So 1 grapefruit=1 quart of marmalade? Yowsers, thanks for the warning.

      A little clarification: you slice the fruit into rounds, then take away the pith? Wouldn't it be easier to peel some of the fruit (no pith, no skin) and leave some fruit whole? Sorry, I'm new to this.

      And after you trim the pith, do you put back the peel (the colorful, flavorful part) or do you just forego that?

      1. re: Pei

        Because I'm too lazy to cut up the fruit by hand, I do it by machine. It's easier to get neat slices if you do it whole, the peel helps to keep it in one piece. If you peel it by removing the pith and skin, it tends to fall apart as you slice it. I think you'll have the same problem slicing by hand, the fruit becomes mushy as you try to cut it. You may find it easier to cut the grapefruit in half, skin on, then cut it into slices.

        When I'm done slicing I have a pile of pieces including pith and skin. I use the tip of a knife to cut away the fruit from the pith, then the pith from the skin. You want to keep the skin. Discard the pith that's been cut away. I think I did this for about half of my grapefruit, but I could be wrong. After this, I had a pile of slices with pith and skin, a pile of sliced fruit and a pile of thin pieces of skin. Because I had whole cross-sections of the grapefruit around 4" across, I cut them into smaller segments.

        I'm making this sound a lot more work than it is. My entire prep took me about 15-30 minutes.

        Please check the amount of marmalade a single grapefruit makes, but I think 1 quart or so is right. It's a lot of fruit after you cut it up.

        1. re: cheryl_h

          Your instructions make perfect sense now. Thanks!

    2. Where have found Ruby Reds?

      I usually order them from Texas and they are not available until the Fall.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Fleur

        The Santa Monica farmers' market always has them on and off. Not every single week, but often. I saw them two weeks ago.

      2. Here's a piggyback question. I'll look around a little on my own, but I was wondering if $12 for a dozen pint size mason jars (including lids and rings) is an okay price.

        That's the price at the locak Ralph's (Kroger's, just like Safeway). Their stuff is usually overpriced, but I can't find on line sources for cheaper jars and I haven't had a chance to snoop around.

        $1 a jar doesn't seem too bad, so unless it's grossly more than everyone else is paying I'll just get it there.

        Has anyone had better luck at Walmart? Target.com didn't list mason jars, and Big Lots is always a gamble. Surfas in Culver City also doesn't list mason jars on line, and it's not like they're usually a cheap place to shop either.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Pei

          $12 is outrageousfor that size!!!! I can get them for half that in the hardware store in my nabe.I've been buying and stashing them for years, a few at a time at yard sales and thrift stores. I have a basement full. One year I made 800 jars or preserves,everything from cranberry chutney to lemon curd. ( I was newly divorced and VERY depressed) and sold every single one at 2 Holiday Craft shows.My kitchen was VERY sticky and I cheered myself up greatly.

          1. re: Pei

            I buy my canning stuff at my local neighborhood hardware store (NOT Home Depot - I don't think they carry stuff like that). A lot of ACE hardware stores are family-owned and they often have great prices on housewares and canning stuff. I bought my mason jars for $6 for the small 1/2 pint jars, $7 for the pint jars, and $9 for quart jars. Also, do you have craigslist near you? I scored 2 cases last winter for FREE! It seems like people are posting them randomly here and there.

            1. re: grubn

              ACE! Thanks, I'll give then a ring. Good to know it should be more like 50 cents a jar. I knew Ralph's was up to no good.

          2. Pei dear, you can make grapefriut curd too,(like lemon curd) it's fab!!!!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: missclaudy

              Can I can that? I love citrus curds.

              1. re: Pei

                Yup!