Grapefruit Marmalade

Jars of Homemade Marmalade on a wooden surface
Jill Ferry/Getty Images
Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 96 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
56 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 96
Amount per serving
Calories 56
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 3mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Homemade grapefruit marmalade is a great twist on the traditional orange marmalade. Never made marmalade before? Making marmalade is easy.

Many traditional marmalade recipes have you remove all the peel, boil it a time or two and then separate the zest from the pith. That method is messier, more complicated, and less flavorful than simply taking a bit of time to carefully zest the fruit, remove the pith, and then cut out peel-and-membrane-free sections of grapefruit.


  • 5 pounds grapefruits (ripe)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 3 pint jars (with sealable lids)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash and dry the grapefruits.

  3. Use a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the brightly colored zest–and only the brightly colored zest–from the grapefruit. Be sure to leave behind any and all of the white pith directly underneath, it is very bitter.

  4. Chop the resulting zest–bigger pieces for chunkier marmalade, ribbon-like strips for a more spreadable result. Set zest aside.

  5. Cut the ends off the zested grapefruits.

  6. Working with one fruit at a time, cut off the thick white pith from around each grapefruit.

  7. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, hold a fully peeled grapefruit, and use a sharp knife to cut out each section of the membrane holding the sections together. 

  8. Squeeze any juice out of the membrane once you've cut out all the fruit.

  9. Set the membrane aside, along with any seeds. The pectin in these will help "set" the marmalade later.

  10. Combine the zest, fruit, juice, 4 cups of water and sugar in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil.

  11. Meanwhile, lay a double layer of cheesecloth in a medium bowl.

  12. Put membranes and seeds in the bowl.

  13. Lift up the corners and tie the cheesecloth into a bag to hold the membranes and seeds.

  14. Add this "pectin bag" to the pot.

  15. While the mixture comes to a boil, put a canning kettle full of water on to boil if you're planning to can the marmalade.

  16. In any case, put a few small plates in the freezer to chill them. When the canning kettle water boils, use it to sterilize the jars and lids.

  17. Bring marmalade to 220 F and hold it there for 5 minutes. Be patient, this can take quite a while.

  18. Put a dollop of the mixture on a chilled plate, swirl the plate to spread the mixture a bit, and drag your finger through the mixture. A "set" mixture will hold a clean track behind your finger.

  19. Remove "pectin bag," squeezing any marmalade in it out and back into the pot before discarding the bag.

  20. Take marmalade off the heat and let sit 5 minutes.

  21. Set up clean jars next to the pot.

  22. Stir marmalade to distribute the zest evenly in the mixture.

  23. Use a ladle to transfer the marmalade into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of each jar.

  24. Put lids on the jars.

  25. If you're canning the marmalade, put the jars in the canning kettle and boil for 10 minutes. In any case, let jars cool to room temperature before putting in a cool dry cupboard (if you've hot water processed them) or the fridge (if you didn't hot water process).


  • Marmalade will keep a really long time. It is all sugar. Opened marmalade needs to be in the fridge, but unless you use a dirty spoon in the jar, it seems to last for forever, although officially people say 6 to 12 months.