Ruby Red Grapefruit and Orange Marmalade

 Ruby Red Grapefruit and Orange Marmalade - so fresh and delicious. It's like a jar of sunshine. It's freezer jam so it's super simple, no canning knowledge needed!!
 “It’s funny, we didn’t have marmalade for the first 25 years of our marriage.”, my husband commented after I made this delightful jam this past week. “That’s because I didn’t really like it, I thought all marmalade was quite bitter”. I replied, “I can’t believe I went all those years not knowing how wonderful it could be ………… and how easy it is to make!”

Did you ever discover something that made you wonder how you ever lived without it? That’s my story now days with marmalade. In fact, I’ve become quite the marmalade aficionado, finding all kinds of ways to use this amazing condiment in my culinary endeavors.

Ruby Red Grapefruit and Orange Marmalade - so fresh and delicious. It's like a jar of sunshine. It's freezer jam so it's super simple, no canning knowledge needed!!

In fact now, I always have marmalade in my fridge and a stash in the freezer too. To me, good marmalade is like a container of sweet sunshine and useful in a zillion ways. It’s well known as a breakfast treat, but did you know that marmalade makes a fabulous, quick appetizer? I often combine marmalade, a splash of rice vinegar, and a squirt of hot sauce (like Sriracha). Then I spoon it over cream cheese or goat cheese, scatter it with a bit of finely chopped cilantro, and serve with crackers or crisp crostini. Everyone wonders what that sweet, spicy, delicious sauce is.

Marmalade also makes a wonderful glaze for chicken, shrimp, or pork. It’s a delightful dipping sauce, and it can transform roasted veggies into a fabulous, sticky treat, slightly akin to candy. Here at The Café, we use it in a myriad of ways. Skeptical? Check it out!

Ruby Red Grapefruit and Orange Marmalade - so fresh and delicious. It's like a jar of sunshine. It's freezer jam so it's super simple, no canning knowledge needed!!

This is the perfect time of year to make marmalade. Citrus fruit is inexpensive and at its prime. I’ve tried lots of different marmalade recipes over the years, but have become quite partial to the freezer marmalade I’m sharing today. To me, it just can’t be beat for three reasons.


First: This type of marmalade has a minimal cooking time; just a brief stint in the microwave or on the stove top to dissolve the sugar is all it takes. The bright, fresh taste of the sunny citrus fruit is retained, along with its beautiful vibrant color.

Second: It’s not bitter like many marmalades are. I use only the fresh-tasting zest, instead of the whole peel most traditional recipes use.

Third and last: This is something I’d rather keep between you and me. Promise? It’s that I’m quite lazy, and freezer jam might just be the easiest thing I make. It’s really true; if you can do a bit of chopping and stirring, that’s about all it takes. There’s no standing over a hot stove or sterilizing jars. There’s no need for canning knowledge. A batch of freezer marmalade comes together in less than a hour.

Like the name implies, it can be stored in the freezer, although it keeps well in the fridge for weeks. If you don’t have a lot of space in your freezer, just store it in zippered plastic bags and transfer to a pretty jar when when you’re ready to use it… or gift it. Oh yes, marmalade makes a lovely hostess gift or a special treat for neighbors, friends, teachers, etc.

Marmalade can be created from any citrus fruit or combination of fruits. I’ve made all kinds of variations over the years using lemons, clementines, tangerines, and limes, in addition to classic orange marmalade. Even the traditional orange version can have as many adaptations as there are varieties of oranges; Seville, blood, Valencia, navel, mandarin, etc

Ruby Red Grapefruit and Orange Marmalade - so fresh and delicious. It's like a jar of sunshine. It's freezer jam so it's super simple, no canning knowledge needed!!

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is for Ruby Red Grapefruit and Orange Marmalade. That’s what was on sale at the market this week, but feel free to swap out the fruit; just keep the measurements the same. A few other versions I’ve made are: Orange-Pineapple Marmalade, Meyer Lemon, Orange and Fresh Ginger Marmalade, Clementine-Cranberry Marmalade, and Ruby Red Grapefruit and Strawberry Marmalade.

Honestly, once you try this fabulous fresh condiment, you won’t want to go back to store-bought marmalade. I have a feeling your freezer will be like mine; never without a few jars of this sweet citrus sunshine!

This post can also be seen on PARADE Magazine

Ruby Red Grapefruit & Orange Marmalade

Ruby Red Grapefruit and Orange Marmalade - so fresh and delicious. It's like a jar of sunshine. It's freezer jam so it's super simple, no canning knowledge needed!!

So fresh and delicious. It’s like a jar of sunshine. It’s freezer jam so it’s super simple, no canning knowledge needed!!

  • Author:


  • 3 medium navel oranges
  • 3 medium pink (ruby) grapefruit
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4¼ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 box powdered fruit pectin


  1. Prepare glass jars or plastic containers with lids by washing them in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher. Recipe makes 5 cups of jam. Number of jars you’ll need will depend on the size of your jars.
  2. Remove the colored part of peel from the oranges and grapefruit using a vegetable peeler or zester. I like to use the kind shown in the photos above. It works perfectly to remove small strips of zest. If you use a vegetable peeler, cut the peel into thin slivers, or finely chop. Peel and discard the remaining white part of peel from the oranges.
  3. Coarsely chop the orange and grapefruit, discarding any membranes and saving the juice. Mix fruit and juice with the zest and lemon juice. Measure 2-⅓ cups of the fruit mixture into a large microwave-safe bowl. If you have extra, discard or save for another use. (See note.) Add sugar and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir well and microwave again for another 2 minutes. Stir until all sugar crystals are dissolved, another minute or two. Taste, and if mixture is still “grainy,” microwave again for another minute or two to dissolve any remaining sugar crystals.
  5. Combine the water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Add to fruit mixture and stir for 3 minutes.
  6. Fill all containers to within ½” of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers and cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Marmalade is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze up to one year.

31 thoughts on “Ruby Red Grapefruit and Orange Marmalade”

  • I’ve had a love hate relationship with marmalade because of the bitter peel, although I love citrus. My mother in law introduced me to her recipe for rhubarb marmalade and now it is all LOVE:) even though it grinds the entire citrus fruit, something in the rhubarb and cooking just make a heavenly sweet/tart blend with a colour and look comparable to mincemeat. This grapefruit orange recipe looks just as awesome and I will have to make a point of trying it.

  • Hello this looks soo good! I would also like to know where you got your jars? This was posted a long time ago but I was looking for something new to can, then I found this!
    Thank you so much for this !

  • Chris, I would like to make this marmalade recipe in Dec. when I make my yearly and Holiday gift Jams and Marmalades. I would like to sterilize the jars and then put the filled jars in a 10 minute water bath so I can put the extra jars in a dark closet till opened, NOT refrigerated. (We will be moving in Jan. to a state that will be a two day drive away and I don’t want to worry about this marmalade being out of the refrigerator this long.)
    Will this recipe as is be okay to do that?
    Thank you

    • Hi Linda,

      Honestly, I’m not sure how to answer your question. I know freezer jams are not (or are barely cooked) so I’m not sure they’re suitable for canning because possibly the enzymes may not be killed which could cause problems. That is just my guess but I would hate for you to do this and then there be a problem. I do know that the jam will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks if that helps. I have also frozen the jam, thawed it and then have re-frozen it with good success. Wish I could be more helpful to you but I don’t want to give advice unless I have honestly experienced it.

      Hope your move goes well!

  • We used this marmalade the other night as a sauce on a grilled chicken breast. We heated the marmalade in a saucepan and added Frank’s Hot Sauce to taste (we are pretty wimpy, so maybe 3 Tbsps. to half a cup of marmalade). This gave the chicken breast a great fresh taste with a little heat. We are loving this marmalade!

  • Marmalade turned out wonderful. When I froze the marmalade it is turning white in the jars as it freezes. Is this okay and will it go back to the original color when it defrosts?

  • So, so very beautiful! Chris, your marmalade is like sunshine in a jar. I just adore working with it in my baking and did so with my recipe for non-yeast cinnamon rolls. This citrus preserve can really perk up breakfast! Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

  • Beautiful, Chris! I love marmalade…I made some last year with some wonderful kumquats that I found in Florida! Your combo of ruby red grapefruit and oranges sounds amazing!

  • Gorgeous. We have a big loaf of sourdough bread on our counter and now I need to get some marmalade. This looks just delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  • besides spreading it on toast and mufins, i really love your idea of mixing it with rice vinegar and some hot sauce , your concoction always sounds good to me! the jars are so pretty too 🙂

  • You are an inspiration Chris! Your jams, jelly, and marmalade always looks absolutely perfect. Love this and love the citrus combination. I bet you were busy some of those early years working and raising children. Isn’t it nice we can spoil them a little now?!

  • I’m not a big fan of marmelade… I like to have jars to cook and bake but I cannot say I just love it on my toasts… Maybe on scones…with cream… I have to make marmelade now:)

  • That looks yummy. Every year a friend in England sends me Seville Orange and Whiskey Marmalade – I can’t tell you how good it is on hot toast, dripping with butter.
    I made your Beef Bourguignon Soup yesterday – it was the best! I like the addition of the pesto. This soup will appear again and again this winter in our house – thank you!

  • Chris would you believe I haven’t had marmalade since I was little? Family friends were staying with us and the mum made me toast with orange marmalade. I really really didn’t like it and can still taste it. Might have to make my own to try and change the memory!

  • Chris,
    I wonder if it is an acquired taste, I remember my Mother enjoying marmalade on her toast and now I do too. It is a delightful treat for the taste buds indeed! Slipping on over to the magazine now, you know I love your recipes.

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