I’m typically conservative in jam application on things like biscuits and toast. I like a little, not a lot. Less is more. With this jam, I’ve thrown caution to the wind, and I’ve been lathering it on like it’s going to stop my hair from turning gray.
A couple of weeks ago, the store had Rio Red Star grapefruit on a 10/$10 deal. Since two friends had been asking about another batch of grapefruit jam, I went ahead with research and planning. I made this jam in the late part of citrus season last year, and it was one of my first blog posts. It wasn’t one of my favorite jams, but it went over well enough with a few others that I thought it might be worth another shot.
I wanted to try another recipe for grapefruit jam, but the only one I could find was the same one from Food In Jars that I used last year. So, I decided to make my own mod. This time, I would get crazy and throw in vanilla bean. So:
8 medium/large Texas Rio Star grapefruit, supremed
2.5 cups of sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, opened, scraped (seeds saved) and chopped in half.
2.5 T pectin (classic, powdered)
Yield: Approximately 2.5 pints
If you compare the recipe above to the one you get if you google “grapefruit jam”, you’ll also notice that I added pectin. I did this with my last batch of grapefruit jam, too. While I respect the amount of pectin that can be pulled from citrus seed, this method just did not work out for me. That’s twice now. I tried it both times, grapefruit seeds saved, bound in cheesecloth and cooked in with the jam. Both times I got a decent result on the cold plate test (but not a convincing results), and I got the temp to 220 F. Both times failed to set. Grapefruity syrup. Pretty, but not spreadable.
Next time, I would mix the pectin* with the sugar earlier in the process. As it was, I canned and processed my jars in Round 1 and ended up with the sloppy shaky the next morning. I went through the cooking and canning process once more, losing about a half pint in the process of cooking down the jam again. This is where I added the pectin and received a much more convincing cold saucer test PASS. The end result of this second effort yielded two and a half pints for me.
Despite the trouble with the set, I’m calling this one a success. A buttery, ruby red grapefruit-laden success. The few jars that I had at the end are full of black-speckled, semi-translucent, sparkly jam. Well worth the effort and encouraging enough to add to my growing list of favorite jams.
If you find a 10/$10 deal on the sweet ruby reds – try it!
*Another note on pectin: My grapefruit only had one or two full-sized seeds in each, the other seeds were tiny little shriveled things that didn’t look promising in the way of a pectin yield. If you find yourself with lots of robust seeds, it wouldn’t hurt to try it without added pectin.