DIY Lemon & Pink Grapefruit Marmalade
On the final day, the different mixtures and boiled fruits are combined with 5 pounds of sugar to create the marmalade.
First, grapefruit skins are scooped of their flesh.
Then chopped. At this point I made a rookie mistake that I'm embarrassed to admit... I tasted the skins. They were so bitter I was sure they were going to ruin the recipe, so I left some out. BIG MISTAKE. In the cover photo you can see that some of the marmalade jars only have a few skins in them. It turns out the skins are really good, and are what makes the marmalade, marmalade. Duh.
The recipe says to use "an 11- or 12-quart copper preserving pan or a wide nonreactive kettle," which I don't have. I have only an 8 quart double boiler, so I used that. The mixture is supposed to boil for a minimum of 30 minutes, until it's thickened to a jelly consistency. Mine took 3 hours. I was ready to give up so many times, but didn't want to waste the food and the time I'd already spent. For a second I was ready to have a giant batch of lemon and pink grapefruit simple syrup, but I was persistent and it worked out!
The above photo shows the mixture at about an hour into the boiling. In the end, about half of the water evaporated. I think the appropriate cooking vessel is important. Too bad Christmas is so far away.
Meanwhile, one must boil a gigantic canning pot with 12, 8 oz mason jars to sterilize them, and time it accordingly so that the jars are warm when you pour the hot marmalade into them. This is a skill unto itself that only lots of experience can cultivate. The whole thing is exhausting. So, the next time you're at the farmer's market or some other shop that's selling small jars of marmalade for $14, you'll have a better understanding of what's involved. Fork the money over, or spend four days making it yourself. It also puts all those pretty marmalade photos on Pinterest into perspective.
I'm gonna try it again... and again and again.