Pressure Canning Grapefruit Curd

Whether we want to admit it or not, we are approaching the upcoming holiday season at warp speed. Today is December 1st which means in a blink of an eye Christmas trees will be going up in houses all around you, mall parking lots will be full at the crack of dawn til the end of the day and carols will play on the radio 24/7.

Love it or hate it, Christmas is coming!

And with the approaching holiday season, comes the fact that friends and family will be popping over for visits, bites to eat and festive drinks.

While I love to cook, I also love having some of the food prepared ahead of time. And what better way to be prepared than to have pre-made dessert just sitting in your pantry awaiting the arrival of planned or surprise guests.

Pressure Canned Grapefruit Curd


1 2/3 cups superfine sugar*

1/3 cup fresh grapefruit zest (generally takes 4-5 grapefruit. You want zest and not pith)

4 large eggs

8 large egg yolks

1 cup grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed and strained)

2/3 cup of chilled unsalted butter cubed

In a small bowl, combine the superfine sugar and zest (if you do not have superfine sugar, run granulated sugar through a mixer to reduce the size of the granules), stirring until well blended. Let stand for 30-45 minutes to allow the sugar to pick up the citrus flavor of the zest.

Fill the a medium saucepan about ¼ full of water. Over med-high heat bring the water to a gentle boil.

Meanwhile, in a medium metal bowl, gently beat the whole eggs and egg yolks. Gradually whisking in the sugar and the zest until well blended. Stir in the grapefruit juice and then add the butter.

Place a medium sized glass or metal bowl in the fridge to cool.

Place bowl over the pan of boiling water. Make sure the top pan sits well above the water so the curd will be cooked by the steam only, not the boiling water. Reduce the heat to keep the water from boiling too vigorously.

Slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly with a flexible spoon or spatula. Stir gently or the curd will be filled with tiny air bubbles. Scrape the bottom of the pan frequently to prevent scorching or curdling. Cook the mixture until it reaches a temperature between 168F and 170F (76C and 77C) about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the top pan or bowl from the double boiler and place it on a dish towel. Continue to stir the mixture until the curd thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon, about 5 minutes.

Remove the chilled bowl from the fridge. Place a fine meshed sieve over the bowl. Slowly pour the curd through the sieve and into the chilled bowl to strain the zest and any small lumps from the curd. Gently stir the curd to remove any trapped air bubbles. Don't be surprised if this part takes you between 5-10 minutes. If you want a nice, smooth and creamy curd it is well worth the time it takes.

Ladle the curd into hot jars, leaving 1/4” head space. Using a plastic knife, remove any trapped air bubbles. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings.

Process 125 and 250ml jars for 10 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure in a weighted gauge pressure canner or 10 minutes at 11 pounds pressure in a dial gauge pressure canner. Yields 6-7 125ml jars.


Grapefruit Marmalade with Candied Ginger

A couple of months ago I had a conversation with an old friend of mine about flavour combinations. Flavours that when combined made their taste buds happy; such as coffee and cream, or peanut butter and jam. For weeks my mind kept popping back to this chat and some of the flavours we had brought together in what was a really a rather vibrant discussion.

Over the holidays while I was beginning to think about the upcoming marmalade season, a flavour combination came to mind that just wouldn't go away. Grapefruit and candied ginger. So I decided to kick 2014 off with the adaptation of a marmalade recipe that I love, to see if this combination was as good in reality as it had been in my mind. I am happy to report that it was. The sweetness of the ruby red grapefruit combined with the subtle heat of the candied ginger is really quite lovely.

Thsi recipe takes a little time as I am suggesting you supreme the grapefruit so you exclude the skin and the majority of the pith. This makes for a less bitter marmalade which I think was needed in order to more fully complement the candied ginger.

Grapefruit marmalade with Candied Ginger (adapted from Linda J Amendt Grapefruit Marmalade)

1 cup of grapefruit peel or fine zest
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup strained grapefruit juice
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cup supremed and finely chopped grapefruit segments
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
5 cups sugar
1/2 cups finely chopped candied ginger (you can go up to 3/4 cup if you want a stronger ginger flavour)
1 - 3oz liquid pectin
Combine the peel and the water in a small bowl and let soak for 10-15 minutes. Drain and then discard the water.
In a medium sized pan, combine the pre-soaked peel, the grapefruit juice, 3/4 cup water and baking soda. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Giving an occasional stir to ensure zest is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add in the supremed grapefruit, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Stir in the sugar and candied ginger. Stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and then turn heat up to medium high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in all 3 oz of liquid pectin and return mixture to a rolling boil (one that can not be stirred down) stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute and then remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam.
Allow the marmalade to cool for 5 minutes (stirring occasionally) before ladelling into pre-sterilized jars. Leaving 1/4" headspace. Process for 10 minutes. Yields 6 - 250ml jars.


For the Love of Grapefruit

It feels like I have been waiting weeks for Seville Oranges to be in season so I can make marmalade. Anyone who knows me knows how much I detest the large grocery stores and grocery shopping in general, but my desire for marmalade has me stopping into Loblaws or the Metro on almost a daily basis.

Friday - I could take the waiting no longer and decided to make marmalade with perhaps the most refreshing citrus; grapefruit. I love the bitter sweet bite of ruby red grapefruit and wondered how it would translate into a marmalade. My official taste tester James tells me that it cleanses the palette and is refreshing. I could barely wait to toast up a crumpet to see how it fared on my morning toast.

The recipe itself is quite time consuming and the output was rather small. This is coming from someone who likes to preserve in 'bulk'. But the flavour is well worth the work. I can tell that this will become part of my regular preserve cupboard and that we won't do without grapefruit marmalade in the future.

I bought 9 large red grapefruits and ended up using the zest from all 9 of the grapefuit, but only the fruit from about 5 of them. The rest I chopped up to make a fruit salad.

1 cup grapefruit zest
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp baking powder
3 cups supremed and finely chopped grapefruit (never supremed a grapefruit before..check out this video)
5 cups sugar
1/2 tsp unsalted butter
1 3oz liquid pectin

Combine the zest and 1 cup water and let sit for 5-10 minutes and then drain.
Combine the peel with the grapefruit juice, 3/4 cup water and the baking soda. Over med/high heat bring to a full boil.

Reduce heat and cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stirring 2-3 times. Stir in the fruit, cover and simmer 10 mins more.

Stir in the sugar and butter. Stirring constantly until the sugar completely dissolves. This took about 10 minutes.

Increase the heat to med/high stirring constantly bring to a full rolling bowl. It is important to continually stir as it allows the ingredients to come to a rolling bowl slowly and for some of the liquid to evaporate.

Stir in the pectin and once again stir constantly and bring to a full rolling boil. I boiled for 3 minutes until the jam was at a consistency I liked and then I removed the pan from the heat. You may need to skim off any foam, I did not have any.

Let it sit for 5 minutes so that the fruit settles, give a quick stir and then ladle into your jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims and the threads with a damp cloth or paper towel and cover with your lids. Process 250ml jars for 10 minutes.

If you prefer a 'zestier' marmalade you could also finely slice the grapefruit peel and use it instead of just the zest.