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CanJam January:Orange-Grapefruit Marmalade*

January 17, 2010

*Official CanJam entry and comedy


Six large oranges

Two Texas Ruby Grapefruit

1 package pectin, such as Sure-Gel

4 cups sugar

4 cups water

2 tbsp cinnamon

instructions: Before preparing fruit, have your water bath pot and rack, as well as any other supplies you prefer to use ready to go. The water in the canner will take the longest to heat up. Also be sure you have your jars and lids sterilized: either on a super-hot dishwasher cycle, or boiled in a pot of water. This recipe should yield about six pints of marmalade.

peeled oranges

Peel oranges and grapefruit, removing as much of the white pith as possible (this is a sweeter, peel-less version of marmalade). Chop oranges and grapefruit, as small as possible. Save any juice that comes out while chopping and use it with the fruit.

peeled grapefruit

Put in large stock pot, and add the package of pectin. Heat fruit on medium-high heat, and add sugar. Allow to bubble, stirring occasionally to prevent sugar from sticking.

Add cinnamon and water, and allow to boil, stirring to prevent burning and sticking (it also helps to break down the chunks of fruit).

Allow to cook for a minimum of ten minutes. *this is the comedy part of the recipe. I thought it would be a good idea to wash some dishes while things heated up. My advice is to omit the dish-washing from this part of the recipe and save it for post canning clean-up. I lost track of time. Things turned out fine though, I promise!


Remove from heat and ladle into canning jars, leaving about an inch of head space. I like to use pints or half-pints ( had to break down and use a quart because I ran out of pints).  Screw on the lids and rings and put in water bath canner using your jar grabber.

Process for a minimum of 10 minutes. Please check process time for your altitude- there should be a table on the package insert of the pectin.

processing the jars

Remove from water bath and set aside to cool. You should be able to hear the lid ‘pop’ when it seals itself, or check to see if the button is firmly pushed down. Never assume too much when canning folks- if you have any question about whether the jar is sealed, don’t use it.

It takes about 12 to 14 days for the marmalade to gel, so don’t be concerned if it looks very watery before then.


*1/4/11 Note: If your marmalade doesn’t gel, there could have been any number of things that went wrong. Not enough pectin, too short of cooking time are usual culprits.

I used this exact recipe again several months later and had to toss out the whole lot. I give it a 50/50 success. It worked once and failed once.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. littlehousesouthernprairie permalink
    January 19, 2010 10:59 pm

    these look awesome! nice work

  2. January 23, 2010 11:36 pm

    Looks good! I’m glad your boil over didn’t cause any harm!

  3. February 13, 2010 10:21 pm

    Ooooo glad everything worked out it the end! Marmalade can be messy to clean up. Yummy recipe!
    Looks like you did a great job!

  4. Bonnie permalink
    May 29, 2010 8:34 pm

    Tried this recipe with regular grapefruit instead of ruby red. The result was soup. The mixture did not gel even after 25 days. The recipe was followed to the letter.

    I have used other grapefruit marmalade recipes with much better results.

    • greenanthropology permalink*
      May 29, 2010 9:33 pm

      My suggestion to fix it would be to re-cook it and add some plain gelatin following the directions on the package. Then re-process it in the canning pot. That is the only thing that I’ve heard ( have not tried myself) will fix it so you don’t have to throw it all out.

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