Grapefruit Jam

March 22, 2012(updated on August 30, 2021)


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.

3.50 from 2 votes

Small Batch Grapefruit Jam

Servings: 2 Pints


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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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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3.50 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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57 thoughts on "Grapefruit Jam"

  • 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.

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Now excuse me while I go buy up some grapefruit and get to jammin’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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.

  • Ooo, this looks wonderful! I’m not a fan of grapefruit, but this looks like it should work with other citrus. ๐Ÿ˜€ I have access to several citrus trees for free, and I’m not a fan of marmalade. I’ll have to try this!

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

  • 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.)

    1. 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 !!!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • This is the method I use to make my citrus jams ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks delightful! I add basil and Grand Marnier to mine to a bit of a twist. Lovely post!

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

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

  • I have your same habit Marisa! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    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.

  • 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

  • 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).

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

  • 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!)

  • 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…

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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.

    1. 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.

  • 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!!!!

    1. 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.

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
    I just tried the honey lemon apple jam. I can’t believe how good it is!!!!

  • 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!

  • 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • THANK YOU for this recipe! My first grapefruit tree gave us a record amount of fruit this year, and I was looking for a small batch jam recipe to try before committing to canning them up. I’m in love. Now what to do with the last 70 pounds…

  • I made a batch of Meyer Lemon Jam with this recipe like you suggest in another blog post. I supremed about 20 lemons since that worked out to be roughly 4 pounds. I think I made have overdone it though? It’s very puckery sour! Next time I will definitely be adding more sugar…one cup more? What do you suggest?

  • I’ve made several citrus jams over the past month and all of them seem to be “tacky”. Is that normal for citrus jams? I’ve made hundreds of jams but none are tacky like these citrus.

  • Mine refuses to set, at all. It’s not even vaguely thick. I’m going to redo it soon, we’ll see what happens I guess.

  • I tried this recipe and at first it would not set. But after about 30 minutes it set rapidly. Now I have jars of Jam that I can not spread because its too stiff. I placed a jar in the refrigerator and it turned to one solid block. (The temperature while cooking stayed under 200 until it suddenly set and then it shot up to 220). Is there any thing that can be done to salvage the batch? Or maybe use for another purpose?
    I am interested in trying recipe again, If I can get this right I just know that the jam will be wonderful tasting. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    1. The only thing you can do for the overset batch is to thin out each jar with a bit of water before serving. Or you can call it a fruit paste and serve it with cheese, the way you would membrillo.

  • Since grapefruit can vary in size, could you estimate net from supremed grapefruit? Would 6 cups we enough?

  • Question: what is the temperature equivalent for 220 degrees at an altitude of 6500 feet? Water boils at about 200 degrees at this altitude.

  • Thanks. I’ve made lots of jam and I’m comfortable with this and checking the sheeting of the marmalade off a spoon. I’ll try this.

  • I guess I have a challenge/idea for you. Today I was thinking about all those little Mandarin oranges sitting on my counter. Then I remembered I also have grapefruit and wondered what an orange-grapefruit jam or jelly might be like. It sounds interesting. But then my brain had a wild idea about putting some crushed strawberries in it, too! Oh my! Any guidance you can think of before I start?

    1. Small mandarin oranges aren’t great for jams, because it’s really fussy to remove the flesh from the membranes that separate the segments (and you really need to remove those membranes, because they impart a bitter flavor). The reason I like to work with grapefruit and oranges is that they’re easier to separate out. But navel orange and grapefruit would be good. I’m not sure about adding strawberries, though.

  • 2 stars
    I wasn’t able to get the mixture to reach 220 degrees and it started to turn too dark before it passed the plate test so, unfortunately, I didn’t get to the correct thickness for jam. I’m not sure if I’ll try it again or not.