Grapefruit Jam

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I have a bad habit of buying a mountain of fruit without much of a plan and then letting it sit around while I ponder and research. It doesn’t get me into too much trouble this time of year since apples, pears and citrus can store fairly well. It becomes more of a problem during the summer months, when things ripen at lightning speed.

grapefruit jam

When I came across a tower of red grapefruit priced four for $1, I bought eight, figuring they’d keep until I determined how to deal with them. I tucked the bag into the back of the fridge while I considered marmalades, curds and jellies. By the time I came back to it, more than two weeks had passed. Thankfully, grapefruit are sturdy and so they didn’t suffer too terribly in the interim.

grapefruit jam

Because the fruit wasn’t organic, I decided against marmalade (always best not to use the whole fruit if you don’t know how it was treated) and instead opted for a grapefruit jam. I was inspired by the filling I made for this citrus tart a few weeks back. I also happen to love the flavor of grapefruit and I was hopeful that it would translate well to a spreadable preserve.

grapefruit jam

When it comes to grapefruit, I’ve never been one of those people who cuts it in half, carefully dusts it with sugar and digs it with a spoon. I eat ‘em peeled and segmented, just like an orange. It’s a little messy, but truly, there’s no way to deal with a grapefruit that isn’t just a little messy.

grapefruit jam

This recipe makes two pints (or four half pints if that’s your preferred measure). It’s a little bit of work to supreme the fruit (instructions here), but once that part is done, it cooks up in about 20 minutes like so many speedier jams. Spread on a buttered English muffin, it’s delivers the grapefruit flavor nicely, without the bitterness you get from marmalade. And though I like a hint of bitter on occasion, I was entirely fine not to find it here.

Small Batch Grapefruit Jam

Yield: 2 Pints

Ingredients

  • 8 large red grapefruit (approximately 4 pounds)
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated white sugar

Instructions

  1. Start by supreming the grapefruit. Do this by cutting the top and bottom off. Then, working from north pole to south, cut the rind off the fruit (you want to expose the interior surface of the fruit). When rind is entirely removed, use the knife to separate the fruit from the membrane of the fruit.
  2. Collect the naked fruit sections and their juice in a large bowl. Set any seeds you find aside. Bundle them up in a length of cheesecloth. They’ll give the jam an extra hit of pectin.
  3. Once all the fruit is supremed, pour it into a large, non-reactive pot and add the sugar and the cheesecloth bundle containing the seeds. Stir until the sugar begins to dissolve.
  4. Turn the heat to high and bring the fruit mixture to a boil. Cook at a bubble, stirring regularly, until the jam reaches 220 degrees and passes the plate/sauce/wrinkle test (remove the pot from the heat source while you’re testing to prevent scorching).
  5. When the jam passes these set tests, pour into prepared jars. Apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.
  6. When time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel. When jars are cool to the touch, remove rings and test seals. Store sealed jars in a cool, dark place. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used first.
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53 Responses to Grapefruit Jam

  1. 1
    Christine says:

    This looks perfect! It looks like a great balance between sweet and bitter and the color is gorgeous.

  2. 2
    Jill Boettcher says:

    Oh my gosh — I’m really going to have to try this. Grapefruit in a jar!

  3. 3
    Janie says:

    No bitterness you say? I’ll definitely have to try this one. I love grapefruit scented and flavored things, but the time I made grapefruit marmalade was an unparalleled disaster. I’ll admit, I’m a little sensitive to bitterness, but wow.

  4. 4

    I absolutely LOVE grapefruit. I’ve had marmalade, but never jam. I have to try this!

    You mentioned something about not using a fruit’s skin if you’re not sure how it was treated. Just wanted to mention that in the US, all chemicals that are applied to crops have a ‘last application before harvest’ maximum. This means that a citrus grower can’t apply certain chemicals a certain number of days before harvest. It limits residue/exposure, etc. With imported produce, it’s a lot harder to know if these rules were followed. (The rule DOES apply to imports, but it’s much harder to test, of course). Eat freely, it’s America :) :)

    Now excuse me while I go buy up some grapefruit and get to jammin’ :)

  5. 5
    Kara says:

    I have a neighbor with a grapefruit tree, and I found myself with some fruit recently, too. I went ahead with grapefruit curd (I didn’t even bother canning it, as in this family, we can go through curd in no time), but I like the idea of jam. I might try it. One key to supremes is a very good, sharp knife.

  6. 6
    Krysta says:

    Ooo, this looks wonderful! I’m not a fan of grapefruit, but this looks like it should work with other citrus. :D I have access to several citrus trees for free, and I’m not a fan of marmalade. I’ll have to try this!

  7. 7

    I love grapefruit but blood orange even more! If i find either of two I’m making jam!

  8. 8
    Michelle says:

    I am lamenting the microplane-generated cut on my thumb even more now that I read about this jam. (I always remove the membrane from segments when I eat grapefruit like an orange.)

    • 8.1
      Juney says:

      Ouch !!!

      I followed this recipe yesterday and the jam was amazing !!! I’ve always been a ‘marmalade on toast’ person, but now I’m stuck with grapefruit jam in the sense that ‘nothing else will do’

      Thank you ‘foodinjars’ – I’m nw sentenced to a life of – *make grapefruit jam on Mondays* lol.

      Thanks again – wonderful recipe which works !!!

  9. 9
    Louisa says:

    Grapefruit is one of my favourites-I am going to have to try this soon!

  10. 10

    Can’t wait to try this jam! I’ve made grapefruit marmalade in the past, but love the color and texture from not using the skins.

  11. 11

    I love canning fruit, it really is a long lost practice. In todays modern world it saddens me that a lot of people don’t do this anymore. Great blog!

  12. 12

    This is the method I use to make my citrus jams :) This looks delightful! I add basil and Grand Marnier to mine to a bit of a twist. Lovely post!

  13. 13
    Debbie says:

    I have three grapefruit trees and always have about 3000 extra grapefruit a year. This will be a good way to use some up. A question though, as most of the time I make jam I use pectin… Can I double this, or should I stick to the quantities and do two (or ten) batches?

    Thank you.

  14. 14
    Molly O says:

    I love grapefruit and I can’t wait to try this recipe! I have had a special fondness for grapefruit ever since I ate one after being at sea for four weeks and not having had fresh fruit in two. I had squirreled it away in a small fridge in someone else’s room when we first got on the ship and then forgotten about it. When we did rediscover it, we peeled it and split it four ways. It was the best piece of citrus I’ve ever eaten (or so it seemed).

  15. 15
    Jennifer says:

    Love your blog! I am passing along the Liebster Blog Award to you. Check out my post for details.

  16. 16
    Pamela says:

    How exciting. I have a grapefruit tree and can’t ever seem to eat all the fruit it produces. I am new to canning, but this I will certainly try next year. I have also just planted a blood orange and will definitely try this with them too. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Pamela

  17. 17
    Katie in AZ says:

    I made this last night and it turned out well. I had to cook mine longer to get it to 220 degrees/plate test, and it is a more amber color, perhaps because of the longer cooking. It has a wonderful sweet/tart flavor. I’ll definitely make more.

    I made a blog post about the jam: http://www.goldenbeehive.blogspot.com/2012/03/grapefruit-jam.html

  18. 18
    Katie in AZ says:

    I made this last night and it turned out well. I had to cook mine longer to get it to 220 degrees/plate test, and it is a more amber color, perhaps because of the longer cooking. It has a wonderful sweet/tart flavor. I’ll definitely make more.

    I made a blog post about the jam: http://www.goldenbeehive.blogspot.com/2012/03/grapefruit-jam.html

  19. 19
    Lynne says:

    Looks fantastic! I will definitely have to try this one, as I, too, love grapefruit-flavored stuff, but can’t stand the fruit itself.

  20. 20
    Peggy says:

    This jam looks perfect! I think I’d totally love a bit slathered on a nice piece of toast =)

  21. 21

    […] I always keep an eye out for grapefruit recipes because I have a productive old tree in my backyard. So I felt like I hit the jackpot when my favorite canning blog, Food In Jars, featured grapefruit jam. […]

  22. 22
    Aimee G says:

    I have your same habit Marisa! ;)

    Right now I have a ton of citrus, including a bunch of homegrown grapefruit (from a friend) and I’m feeling marmalade-d out, so think this is just the ticket! Thanks.

  23. 23
    Sandy Ellis says:

    Try using salt on your grapefruit instead of sugar, when having it plain for breakfast and so forth.

  24. 24
    amy says:

    our grapefruit tree kicked the bucket this year….so I’ll have to go begging to friends and neighbors to see if I can collect enough home grown fruit to make this. it sounds so very very good

  25. 25

    Beautiful idea. I can satisfy my need for grapefruit all year round. Thanks for posting this recipe.
    Greetings from north of the Arctic Circle (where preserved food rules).

  26. 26

    […] אז אנחנו הולכים לעשות חצי. המתכון והתמונה של "אוכל בצנצנות". איזה כתום […]

  27. 27
    Becky Sue says:

    I am making this today! I am looking forward to it. I am truly starting to love canning! What fun and amazing gifts too!

  28. 28
    Krysta says:

    Okay, I have a question. About how much fruit did you end up with out of those 8 grapefruit? I gathered together about 6 lbs fruit, but they’re mostly pith, it seems! (And I’m getting very few seeds… The meyer lemons are the only ones really giving me seeds!)

  29. 29

    […] I saw the grapefruit jam recipe on Food in Jars, I decided that it was simple, straightforward, and seemed to hold the promise of […]

  30. 30

    […] Who knew you could do something other than cut a grapefruit in half? […]

  31. 31
    catherine says:

    Oh. my. goodness.

    I don’t have much of a sweet tooth… usually only eat jam stirred into yogurt… but I just made this and I’m eating it warm out of a jar with a spoon…

  32. 32
    Harold Adams says:

    How long doese this jam last stored.

  33. 33

    […] Grapefruit Jam (tweaked to make about 8 oz) […]

  34. 34
    K. Crane says:

    I made this jam. It is so sweet and tart and delicious. I used red grapefruits. Mine really didn’t have any seeds to save back. My batch set up fine and made 2 pints. I used Ball quilted quarter pint jars. I managed to get it up to 225 degrees. You really have to be patient and let it reduce down, letting it get thick and glossy. When you put a dallop on a plate you don’t want to see hardly separation at all between the liquid and the fruit. If you do, keep stirring it down, stirring it down and you will get there. The jars are so beautiful sitting on the shelf. Happy canning everyone :)

  35. 35
    Julie says:

    We just bought 2 huge boxes of grapefruit from our young neighbor–fund raiser for her choir. I was worried about what to do with it all and found your site! Will try this right away! Thanks so much and I really like your blog.

    • 35.1
      Julie says:

      Update from Julie. I just processed 7 – 4 ounce quilted jars. Turned out great. You are right you have to be patient to get the jam up to 220 degrees. Worth the wait though! Thank you for a nice winter recipe.

  36. 36
    Maura says:

    I made 4 of your recipes this week. I was most looking forward to the Grapefruit Jam, but I petered out near the end of canning and didn’t cook it long enough. I was at 45 minutes and STILL hadn’t hit 220, so I assumed my thermometer was broken (fair assumption given my thermometer history). It looked somewhat pass the plate test when I processed the jars.
    I have Grapefruit syrup. I was really not patient enough to wait. Also, my Red Grapefruit barely had any seeds and was SUPER liquidy… I was wondering if that played a part in the failure.
    I’m not giving up. I have 8 more grapefruit and I’m going to try again. I am thinking of adding a wee bit of pectin… thoughts?
    *By the way, the Apple-Cranberry Jam and Pear Butter are AMAZING!!!!

    • 36.1
      Marisa says:

      So sorry to hear that you had trouble getting the jam to 220 degrees F. You can certainly add some liquid. For the next batch, the best way to do it is to whisk a tablespoon or two of powdered pectin into the sugar. Cook to a rapid boil and try to get it to 218 or so, or watch until it passes the plate test.

  37. 37
    Maura says:

    Thanks for the quick response! I’m going to give that a try! I’ve put the syrup in soda water- we have a winner! I’m thinking about adding it to whiskey to make a sour :-)
    I just tried the honey lemon apple jam. I can’t believe how good it is!!!!

  38. 38
    Deb S says:

    Hi, Marisa! Thanks for the great recipe. I just made this jam. How would you describe the flavor? To me, the fruit almost tastes sweetly caramelized with a just a slight hint of the tartness of a fresh grapefruit. Does that sound right? I was a little surprised by the taste and wondered if I overcooked it, but it doesn’t taste scorched. The set seems about right–perhaps a little runny, but I just made it a few hours ago. Thanks!

  39. 39

    […] After the jump is my recipe for Meyer Lemon Jelly. The set can be a little tricky to hit right on the nose, but since I like to spoon this jelly into sparkling water, it’s no great loss if it’s too loose. For a slightly pulpier preserve, substitute segmented Meyer lemons for the grapefruit in this jam recipe. […]

  40. 40
  41. 41

    […] out the most beautiful naturally pink colored jam I’ve ever seen! This recipe is courtesy of Food In Jars, which is the lovely and very informative site that I stumbled upon while in search of a grapefruit […]

  42. 42

    […] them in AZ for NIEES. So far, I have made grapefruit in ginger mint syrup (shown above) and grapefruit jam. Unfortunately, supremeing grapefruit is extremely difficult (so I got Caitlin to do it for me) and […]

  43. 43
    Kate says:

    Hello! Love the new website! Looks great! Was perusing this jam recipe and am excited to try it! Wanted to give you a heads up though that the link to supreme the grapefruits is going to a 404 / page not found. Would be great to see the tutorial for that as I’ve never tried it. BTW, made those garlic pickles today… can’t wait to break into them and try ‘em out! :-)

  44. 44

    […] why not preserve just the fruit and skip that bitter, chewy rind? A quick trip to the web found this beautiful grapefruit jam from Food in Jars (my hero); in the post, Marisa confirmed that Meyers are a decent replacement for grapefruit. My […]

  45. 45

    […] fresh. You can also find lovely citrus jams made in a more classic way, without the rind. Food in Jars’ grapefruit jam is a good example. The way I’m doing it here is decidedly rough cut — God, I’m […]

  46. 46

    […] I went back and bought another four and now I need another grey, gloomy day to try the grapefruit jam recipe.  […]

  47. 47
    Kandy Faris says:

    What can I use instead of white sugar?

  48. 48

    […] Grapefruit Jam – Grapefruit season is pretty much over, but here’s a great way to jar and store some of that great grapefruit flavor! (@ Food in Jars) […]

  49. 49

    […] it was making dill pickles with novelty cucumbers; today grapefruit jam slightly improvised and candied peel. Breaking down the ruby grapefruits left me staring at my acid […]

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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