Citrus Marmelade

Let me say right up front all the steps in this recipe put me off for days but once I dove in the hands-on time is minimal. Having said that, I vote for doubling the amounts and gifting yourself with four jars of this jeweled delight rather than two.

So grab yourself some yummy organic citrus. The recipe calls for Meyer lemon and Grapefruit which is scrumptious but blood orange would also be lovely.

Adapted from Aran Goyoaga. Expect to produce between 2-3 8 ounce jars. My batch made two full jars and a custard cup full so we could test right away.


  • 3 medium (225 g) Meyer lemons, washed and ends trimmed 
  • 1 (550 g) large red grapefruit, washed 
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 


The Lemons: Line one small bowl with cheesecloth to collect the seeds and have another bowl handy for juices.  On the cutting board prepare lemons by cutting in half lengthwise, and then once again.  Then cut each quarter into fine strips.  All seeds should go into the cheesecloth lined bowl, juices from the cutting board to the other bowl and lemon strips into a medium stainless steel saucepan. 

The Grapefruit: Use a vegetable peeler removing thin strips of the grapefruit skin. Cut each strip into pieces that are about 3/4” to 1” long and thinly slice into 1/8-inch strips and add to lemons in the cooking pot. 

With your knife, remove all of the pith off the grapefruit and discard it. Cut segments of the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces and place into a separate bowl to squeeze available juice adding to the collected lemon juice. You will need about ½ cup total.  Set the cut grapefruit pieces aside.

The Cheesecloth Packet: Add the grapefruit seeds and core to the cheesecloth-lined bowl that also has the lemon seeds. Tie the cheesecloth and make a packet to use during the cooking process. 

Cooking Step One

Add enough cold water into the pot to just cover the lemon and grapefruit peels and bring to a boil over high heat for 5 minutes. Drain with a sieve and return into the pot. Add 1 quart (900 g) cold water into the pot, the 1/2 cup (115 g) juices, cut-up grapefruit segments, and cheesecloth pouch with the seeds. Bring liquid to a boil over high heat. Immediately, remove from heat, cover pot, and let it sit for 10 to 12 hours, overnight. This process is what extracts the natural pectin from the seeds. 

Cooking Step Two

Put two to three saucers or small plates for testing the consistency into the freezer now. Remove the lid from the saucepan, place over medium heat and bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat. Add sugar and salt, cooking and stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 218F to 220F.  This can take between 30- 50 minutes so be patient. Watch for the marmelade to darken in color, thicken and the bubbles to decrease in size. This can happen suddenly so keep close watch.

To test the consistency, remove a plate from the freezer and pour a small sample of marmalade onto it. Swirl it around. If it’s where you want it, stop there. If you feel like it’s still too loose for you, continue cooking and testing. 

When you have reached the desired set point, remove the pot from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then using tongs, carefully remove the cheesecloth packet from marmalade squeezing to release extra pectin. Give the marmalade one gentle stir to distribute the fruit throughout. Pour into sterilized jars. Tap the jars lightly on your surface to release any air bubbles. Let the marmalade cool completely then, secure with lids and refrigerate. 

The marmalade will last in the refrigerator at least 4 weeks. I plan to repeat this same process with 4-5 blood oranges, about 1.5-2 lbs (750-900 grams) of whole fruit.