Homemade Grapefruit Jam

Anything homemade makes me happy, but Homemade Grapefruit Jam really puts a smile on my face!  This jam has a sweet/sour thing going on…using pink grapefruits from my friend Harriet’s tree provided the sour and the beautiful color and adding sugar gives it, well, yes, the sweet thing.

It is very easy to make and if you are concerned about the canning process to make the jam shelf-stable, you can always put it in jars and store it in the refrigerator for at least one month.  It’s so tasty that it will disappear faster than that!

There aren’t a lot of ingredients in this jam:  grapefruit, sugar, butter and powdered pectin.  The key here is to use the zest, fruit and juice from the grapefruits.  Begin by using a zester to remove fine thin strips of zest.  This is the zester that I like to use, and I scrape the end with the holes over the outside of the grapefruit.  This will produce the thin strips needed to give the jam some texture.

The next step is to remove the fruit without the membrane.  To do this, cut the grapefruit across the equator (meaning instead of cutting it from stem to bottom, cut horizontally through the fruit as you would if you were eating 1/2 of a grapefruit).  Then, cut between the fruit and the inside of the peel, pointing the knife toward the center so that you accommodate the curve of the grapefruit.  Finally, slice between each membrane to release the fruit.

Place the fruit, zest and juice into a measuring cup and when you reach 2 cups, you are ready to start cooking the jam.

Put the fruit, zest and juice into a large pot along with the pectin and butter and bring it to a rolling boil.  Please note that it’s important for the boiling to occur quickly, as opposed to bringing it slowly to a boil. If it’s brought to a slow boil, it will interfere with the chemistry needed to solidify the jam. 

Add the sugar and bring it back to a rolling boil for exactly one minute.  I like to use a timer to do this so that I don’t forget about it.  If you boil it too long, the pectin will break down and lose its ability to gel.  Remove it from the heat and skim off any foam that has accumulated on the top surface.

Prepare the jars and lids by sterilizing them in a hot water bath for a few minutes.  Remove them from the bath with jar tongs.  Then, when ready, fill them with the jam.  When filling the jars, try not to get any jam on the threads of the jar.  Be sure to wipe any excess jam off.  Seal the jars tightly.

If you are going to use a water bath to preserve the jam, lower the sealed jars into water that has been brought to a boil.  The jars must sit on a rack inside the pot.  I made my own rack by using kitchen twine to tie together 6 jar lids, placing them on the bottom of the pot and then placing the jam-filled jars on top of the rack.  It’s important to use a rack as the jars will crack if they are too close to the heating element.

The jars need to be processed in the hot water for only 5 minutes (at higher altitudes, add 1 minute per thousand feet above the first 1000 feet).  Let the jam sit at room temperature until cool.

If you are not using a hot-water bath to preserve the jam, after you have filled the sterilized jars, leave it on the counter to cool and then store in the refrigerator. 

The only thing left to do now is schmear it over English muffins, glaze on roasted chicken or drizzle over ice cream.  Enjoy!

Labeling the jars makes them the perfect gift!  I made mine out on a Cricut machine, but they can also be hand-cut (you don’t need to scallop the edges).  Tie a ribbon around the jar and you have the perfect hostess “bring-me”!

If you like the labels that I’ve applied to the jars, send me a comment below and I will forward you the pdf for the labels.

Share Your Thoughts…

Lastly, if you make Homemade Grapefruit Jam, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Homemade Grapefruit Jam

Makes: 4 10-ounce jars

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 6-7 medium grapefruit
  • 1 box (1.75 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 5 cups granulated sugar

To Prep the Grapefruit:

Wash the grapefruit thoroughly then dry well. With a citrus zester, remove the colored zest (avoiding the white pith) from 5 of the grapefruits and place in a bowl or medium size measuring cup (at least 2 cups).

Cut each grapefruit in half across its equator. With a small sharp knife (a serrated knife works great), cut around the perimeter of each half where the fruit and rind meet. Point your knife slightly toward the center of the grapefruit to make up for the curve as you cut.

Then, starting at the center, slice on both sides of the thin membranes that separate the sections of fruit to free up the segments. With a small spoon remove the segments to the bowl with the zest.

After the fruit has been removed from each grapefruit half, squeeze the remaining juice into the bowl with the zest and fruit segments. Continue until you have 2 cups of the zest/fruit/juice mixture. If you end up with more than 2 cups, reserve the extra for another use.

For the Jam:

Transfer the fruit mixture to a large pot (6-8 quarts) and add the pectin and butter. Stir to combine then bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.

Add the sugar and stir to combine. Return to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly one minute. Use a timer…it’s important to be exact. Remove from heat and allow the boiling to settle down. Remove any foam from the top surface with a spoon.

To Finish with a Hot Water Bath:

Ladle into the prepared sanitized jars, filling to within a half-inch of the top. Wipe the rims and thread, and then screw on the lids tightly.

For the hot water bath method, proceed as directed in this link).

To Finish without a Hot Water Bath:

Ladle into the prepared jars, filling to within a half-inch of the top. Wipe the rims and thread then screw on the lids tightly.

Allow the marmalade to sit for 24 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate or freeze.

Marmalade keeps well in the refrigerator for several weeks and up to a year in the freezer.  Please note that jam will not be shelf-stable and will need to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.


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