Friday, February 10, 2012

Ruby Meyer Marmalade

Like many  people, I've got a lot of my plate right now. From being in the honey bee lab to volunteering at the wildlife rehabilitation center to marine invertebrate lab to being a TA to teaching Sunday school at church. They are all great experiences and I'm blessed to have them. I just wish I didn't have to do them all at once. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm a pinball stuck bouncing between class, lab and church. I have more post it notes on my desk top than I can count. I get stuck in this pattern of do, do, do and I loose sight of what's most important in my life: my relationships my family, my friends and most importantly, my God. These past couple weeks, I've made it an effort to make more time with God and my outlook on life has been so much better. Instead of asking, why am I so busy and stressed all the time? God has made me realize how blessed I truly am. God has given me these great opportunities and blessed me with such a great community of friends. 

One weekend, my best friend from high school and I were able to catch up as well as do what we do best: take pictures and cook. Nick is an amazing photographer; he takes the mundane, every day activities and puts life, emotion, and color into them. He's also obsessed with food like I am. We have a deal, I'll cook something, he takes pictures and we both eat. It's a win, win situation. Since so many kinds of citrus are in season now, we decided on a meyer lemon and ruby grapefruit marmalade. 

The Ingredients
3 ruby grapefruits
3 meyer lemons
5 cups of sugar
pinch of salt

The Method
Bring a large pot of water to boil and place 2 lemons and 2 grapefruit in the pot. Place a plate or smaller lid on the citrus to submerge them. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour or until the lemons are soft and pliable. Remove the lemons and place in a bowl. Then cook the grapefruit for another 45 minutes or until the grapefruit are done. Remove and place in the same bowl as the lemons.

 Let the citrus cool to room temperature or place in the refrigerator overnight. Place a plate into the freezer; this will be used to test if the marmalade has set.

Cut each cooked citrus fruit in half. Place a fine strainer over a large bowl and use a spoon to scrape the pulp into the strainer while reserving the rinds. 

Squeeze the pulp through the strainer to extract all the juice.

 Once all the juice is in the bowl, toss the dry pulp. 

Thinly slice the rinds of 1 grapefruit and 1 lemon into thin long ribbons. 

Finely dice the other lemon and grapefruit rinds. 

I found that slicing all the rinds was overwhelming so that's why I choose to dice half. 

It gives you a great mix of textures in the final marmalade. The rind contains pectin which causes the marmalade to set.

Take the raw grapefruit and cut the top and bottom off so the flesh is exposed. Then make longitudinal cuts to remove the rest of the skin. 

Hold the fruit over the juice bowl and then carefully cut on each side of the membrane to remove the segments. This will add fresh pulp into the final spread.

Juice the raw lemon into the juice bowl. Then place the juices, grapefruit segments, chopped rinds, salt and sugar into a large pot. It may seem like too much sugar but its needed to set up the marmalade and to counteract the bitterness of the grapefruit. 

Turn the heat to medium and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to boil until it reaches 220-222 degrees (use a candy thermometer if you have one). Be careful, this is above the boiling point of water and can burn you. Take out the frozen plate and place a few drops of marmalade on the plate. Let it set for about 30 seconds and see if it has gelled so it no longer runs. If it hasn't, continue to cook longer. 

Now you can preserve the marmalade with the jars, heat, processing, etc. If you properly preserve the marmalade, it will last about a year in the pantry. 

Alternatively, you can pour them into jars like I did and it will keep for a few weeks in the fridge. 

This Ruby Meyer marmalade has strong flavors of the tart lemon and bitter grapefruit. Spread it on your bread in the mornings or eat it with some fresh goat cheese on a cracker. 

Making this marmalade with Nick helped me to find joy in the simple things in life. I hope that you can take a break out of your busy life to make this with some friends or family. You won't be sorry, I promise. 

Recipe by Spencer Huey

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  1. So cool! I am impressed by both the cooking and the pictures, but especially the man behind the blog!

  2. Wow, this looks so delicious. And love the detailed step-by-step pictures. I'll have to pick up some Meyer Lemons at our local food coop today :)