☰ menu   

Ugli-Grapefruit Marmalade

Ugli-Grapefruit Marmalade

Making marmalade always feels like a good use of citrus—you get the most from each part of the fruit—the floral essential oils in the peel, the pectin in the pith and seeds, and the sweet-tart juice and flesh. Ugli fruit has a thick layer of pith beneath the peel; to keep the marmalade from becoming too bitter, trim as much away from the peel and flesh as possible and tie it up in a cheesecloth bundle to simmer with the fruit and lend its pectin to the finished product. The general method for this recipe was adapted from Food in Jars.


  • 1 large ugli fruit If you can’t find ugli fruit, go with all grapefruit or mix in other citrus fruits. You’ll need a total of 2.5 pounds of fruit altogether.
  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 4 cups white granulated sugar


  • Scrub and dry the fruit. Using a paring knife or a sharp vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the fruit, making sure to leave as much pith as possible behind.
  • Set the peeled fruits aside, cut the zest down into 1-inch chunks, and then slice into thin ribbons.You’ll have about 2 cups of sliced zest.
  • Place the zest in a small saucepan, cover with 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the zest is translucent and tender.
  • While the zest is simmering, trim and chop the fruit. Trim as much of the membrane off the outside of the fruit as possible and set aside. Cut the fruit into quarters, trim away the membrane at the core, and remove any seeds you catch. Set those aside with the pith and membrane. Roughly chop the remaining fruit; you should have about 2½ cups’ worth.
  • Bundle the pith, membrane, and seeds into a piece of cheesecloth, and tie it up. Set aside.
  • While the zest is simmering, you can prepare your jars for canning. Wash and rinse 3 half-pint jars, then transfer them to a large pot filled with simmering water. When the water boils, remove the jars and set aside. Keep the pot of water on the stove to process the marmalade when it’s time. Simmer the lids and rings in a small saucepan for 2 to 3 minutes, remove from water and set those aside as well.
  • When the zest is finished simmering, strain it and reserve the water (about 2 cups).
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, combine the zest and reserved water along with the sugar and the bundle of pith and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 to 40 minutes. The marmalade will need to reach 220 degrees (and stay there for a minute) in order to set correctly. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, do the plate test: after 30 minutes, drop a spoonful of marmalade onto a plate and let it sit for a minute or two. Once it cools down, if it “sets” in place when the plate is tilted, it’s done. If it runs down the plate, it needs to cook for another few minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, discard the cheesecloth, and continue stirring the marmalade for another minute or two.
  • Fill the prepared jars with the marmalade and wipe the rims clean before placing on the lids and tightening the rings. Lower the cans down into the canning pot, and process for five minutes from when the water comes back to a boil.
  • When the time is up, remove the jars from the water bath and place them on a towel to cool completely.
Photo Credit: Image of marmalade in jars courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.