Marmalade Recipe with Grapefruits

Marmalade step-by-step

  • Makes 6 x 250ml jars
  • A little effort

Zing up breakfasts and bakes with this foolproof pink grapefruit marmalade. Follow the rules and you’ll get it right every time


*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards

olive’s cookery writer Adam says… “Traditionally, marmalade is made with the intensely zesty, bitter oranges from Seville, which are in season in a brief window from mid-December to mid-February. The rules, however – as with jam-making – remain the same, so feel free to experiment with whatever kind of citrus fruit marmalade you like.”

How to make the perfect marmalade

How do you make marmalade sweet?

If you’ve ever bitten on grapefruit or seville orange peel, you’ll know how intensely bitter it is. The first boil in this process removes that excess bitterness. It also extracts pectin from the fruit and then concentrates it as the water reduces.

How do you get the right marmalade consistency?

Pectin is naturally found in the cell walls of plants and fruits, and has been used as a thickening agent for centuries. A high concentration of it is found in the piths and pips of citrus fruits, which is why it’s traditional to boil the pips wrapped in muslin, before squeezing out as much of the pectin as possible.

What type of sugar should you use to make marmalade?

The sugar draws the water away from the pectin, forcing the pectin strands to begin to knit together. After a rapid boil the sugar thickens and the pectin reforms into a gel consistency.

Combining two kinds of sugar means that the high levels of pectin in the preserving sugar are complemented with a hint of caramel sweetness from the golden caster sugar.

How do you sterilise a jar for marmalade?

Once fruit has been turned into marmalade and put into a jar, it will keep, sealed, for up to six months. However, this is only the case if the jars are completely sterile. If any bacteria gets into the jar, it will shorten the marmalade’s lifespan considerably. To sterilise the jars, wash them thoroughly in hot, soapy water, rinse well, then put in an oven at 120C/fan 100C/gas ½ for 10-15 minutes until piping hot.



  • pink grapefruits 1kg (about 3-4)
  • preserving sugar 1kg
  • golden caster sugar 1kg
  • lemon 1, juiced


  • Step 1

    Cut all the grapefruits in half and squeeze the juice from each through a fine sieve into a bowl and reserve, keeping any pips. Cut the grapefruit halves again into quarters and, if the pith is very thick, carefully remove some until the rind is ½cm-1cm thick. Put any trimmed pith and pips into a clean muslin cloth and seal tightly with string or a rubber band to make a bag.

  • Step 2

    Slice the remaining grapefruit rind into 1-2mm slices. Put the sliced rind and muslin into a large pan with 1.5 litres of water, bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 2 hours until nearly all of the water has evaporated.

  • Step 3

    Remove the muslin bag from the pan and use a pair of tongs to squeeze out the pectin-rich liquid back into the pan with the rind. Put a small clean plate in the freezer.

  • Step 4

    Pour the sugars and the reserved grapefruit juice into the pan and bring back to a gentle simmer to dissolve the sugar. Put a sugar thermometer into the pan, turn up the heat and boil for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid it catching, until it reaches 105C.

  • Step 5

    Remove the plate from the freezer and spoon a little of the marmalade onto the plate. Gently push the marmalade with the back of a spoon – if it’s at the right setting point, a rippled skin will appear on the top. If no ripple appears, return the plate to the freezer, boil the marmalade for another 5 minutes, then try again. Repeat until necessary.

  • Step 6

    Stir the lemon juice through the marmalade and pour into sterilised jars and seal. It will keep in the fridge for 6 months.

Use your marmalade in one of our marmalade recipes here...

Gooey Flapjack Recipe with Marzipan

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 41
  • Carbs 10.2g
  • Sugars 10g