Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grapefruit and Vanilla Bean Marmalade

First of all: What makes a marmalade? Why is this a marmalade and not a jam or a preserve? For one, jam is made from fruit which is one, not a citrus, and two, peeled. For a marmalade, you use the entire fruit. You can remove the pith, but it is not necessary in this recipe. I also find it time consuming. If you are going to keep the peel in the jar and not strain it like I did, you will want to do this, otherwise you get a very unpretty jar of marmalade.

Now I adapted this recipe from a delicious Gourmet Traveller one after I realized I was inundated with in-season citrus and delicious vanilla beans from the local farms. I am looking forward to eating this, letting it settle in it's jar for a few days to really set that vanilla flavour in.

First off you will need:

1.4 pounds (omg did I use imperial?) or a little over half a kilo of grapefruit and lemons. This should be roughly one grapefruit and one lemon.
5 cups of water
3.5-4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
and... that's it!

Cut citrus in half and then slice thin slices lengthwise. Remove pith if you do not plan on straining. Do so on a plate so you can collect the extra juice and throw into a thick bottomed pan with the water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off and let cool. The longer the better - up to a day. This is when I strained. If you have decided to keep bits in it, go right ahead. Still tastes delicious.

If planning on keeping preserves for awhile, this would be when you prepare and sterilize your awesome jars.

Place sugar in pan. Slice vanilla bean in half and scrap seeds into pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer at 230F/110C for half an hour. Let cool a bit and then pour into jars. At this point I got nervous about the setting and added a teaspoon of pectin for Gd knows what reason - it's setting quite thick now and was probably unnecessary. But hey, unlike your local politician, I didn't lie about it.

Seal and/or enjoy.

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