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Grapefruit Marmalade

Homemade Grapefruit Marmalade is bursting with citrus flavor. It’s well worth the time. You’ll never want store-bought marmalade again.

The top view of an open jar of grapefruit marmalade. There is a spoon filled with marmalade resting on the top. The marmalade is bright orange and lumpy from bits of peel.

This is one of the many treats I made when my grapefruit tree went nuts this winter. My tree produced lots of fruit but it was seedy so not that great for eating. My grapefruit look like oranges but they’re quite sour.

I used a vegetable peeler to get the zest without the bitter pith.  Grapefruit is low in pectin so you need all the pulp you can get. I sectioned my grapefruit like you do when making a fruit salad (slice the fruit out of the membranes).

The membranes and seeds go in a cheesecloth bag and everything but the sugar sits in a pot overnight. Letting the fruit, peel, seeds and membranes sit overnight helps extract as much pectin as possible before you start cooking.

It turns out that you have a choice when you make grapefruit marmalade. The flavor is brightest right before the marmalade fully jells (at around 220°F). As you continue heating the marmalade, the sugar caramelizes a bit so you loose some of the bright flavor but your marmalade is more solid.

This photo shows four jars of grapefruit marmalade in the upper left corner. The jar closest to the middle of the photo is open and is only half full.  In the bottom left there is a sliced loaf of french bread. A slice of french bread sits on a white plate in the bottom right of the photo. The slice of bread on the place is covered in marmalade and a silver spoon with some marmalade on it sits on the plate in front of the slice of bread.

The first batch I made was on the runny side. I loved the flavor and didn’t want to cook it to the higher temperature so I added a bit more pectin. The result was fresh fruit flavor in a more solid marmalade.

You can test how done your marmalade is by putting a spoonful on a frozen plate. Wait a few seconds and then run your finger through the jelly. Marmalade that is set will pile up in front of your finger and leave a smooth trail on the other side.

Yield: 3 1/2 - 4 pints

Grapefruit Marmalade

The top view of an open jar of grapefruit marmalade. There is a spoon filled with marmalade resting on the top. The marmalade is bright orange and lumpy from bits of peel.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 20 minutes


  • 4 cups grapefruit juice with as much pulp as possible
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Ball low sugar pectin
  • Peel from 16 grapefruit


  1. Put membranes and seeds in a cheesecloth and tie the ends together to make a ball sealing in the seeds and membranes.
  2. Put peel, water, grapefruit juice and cheesecloth ball in a large, heavy pan and let it sit overnight.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil. Boil 40 minutes stirring occasionally. You should notice some foam as the mixture boils. That's the pectin. While the mixture boils, put the sugar in a baking tray and warm in the oven at 325°F.
  4. Remove the cheesecloth ball and squeeze out as much liquid back into the pot as you can. You want 4 cups of liquid after this stage so you may need to add some more water.
  5. Place a plate in the freezer before the next step. Place the pot with the juice and peel back on the stove.
  6. Add the warmed sugar to grapefruit juice and reduce the heat to medium high. You want the mixture to keep boiling but not scorch so you will need to stir constantly. Boil until the temperature reaches 219° F (104°C).
  7. Drop a spoonful of the marmalde onto the chilled plate. Wait 30 seconds and then drag a finger through the marmalade on the plate. If the pectin is set, then there will be a clean line behind your finger and the jelly will pile up in front of your finger. If the marmalade does not set, add 1 Tablespoon pectin to the pot and boil for about 10 minutes before testing again.
  8. Place in sterile jars and boil for 20 minutes.


Rather than squeeze the grapefruit for juice, I sectioned mine (like for a fruit salad). This gets as much pulp as possible.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 tablespoons

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is provided as a guide only. Please consult a dietician for specific dietary needs.


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