Every year around this time I become slightly obsessed with grapefruit. It, along with it’s other citrus cousins, adds such a brightness to cold winter days that we’re not only craving, but needing, come February. Grapefruit in particular holds a special place in my heart, and I always feel like it doesn’t get quite as much love as it deserves.
From all of the preserves my family put up this past summer and fall, the hands down favourite was crab apple jelly. There’s something about that sweet tartness in clear jelly form that takes it above and beyond the usual chunky, sweet-on-sweet jam. So, when we were nearing the end of our stash and I came across this recipe for grapefruit jelly, I immediately added it to my to-do list. Tart? Check. Sweet? Check. Easy? Check.
Foraging for crab apples and berries may be long gone, but winter is still a great time for canning. What I love most about this recipe is, that it can be made at pretty much any time during the winter months, it makes a small batch, and it’s so easy to prepare – thanks to the extra help of liquid pectin. I will admit that I do prefer the looser set of a jam made with only the naturally occurring pectin from the fruit itself. But sometimes you want something a bit quicker and easier, that preserves the fresh taste of the fruit that can be cooked away with longer boiling times. That is the case here. We’re looking for bright grapefruit flavour to cut through the chill, so the less cooking time the better!
As per usual you can preserve this recipe by canning it or freezing it, whichever you prefer. It makes a nice small batch so it’s not overwhelming to do either. I love that if we run out part way through the winter all we have to do is get our hands on a couple more grapefruits and we’ll have another batch ready to go in no time.
Do you preserve in the winter? What are your favourite things to put up in cold winter months?
- 2 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (about 4 grapefruits)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 (3 oz.) pouch liquid pectin
- Stir together grapefruit juice, sugar, and lemon juice in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Return to a boil, and boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam that has gathered at the top and discard.
- Pour into canning jars, or tupperware containers, leaving ½ inch headspace, allow to cool completely before freezing.
- Before you start to make the jam, sterilize 4, ½ pint jars along with lids (as instructed in my canning basics post*). Fill the jars to within ¼ inch of the top with jam; wipe the rims, top with lids and tighten rings to fingertip tight. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes (see: “things you need to know” in my canning basics post* for processing times above 1000 feet). Remove jars from water bath and set on a kitchen towel to cool for 24 hours. Check for seals before storing in a cool, dark place until ready to use.
*If you’re new to canning or just need a refresher, check out my canning basics post.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.