2 and a half pints of boiling water
4 large lemons or 5 small ones
1 ruby grapefruit
3 lbs of sugar ( one pound of which could be Jam sugar)
Measure boiled water into a jug to 2 1/2 pints
Using a peeler or sharp knife strip the fruit of it’s skin and set aside.
Cut the fruit in half and squeeze out the juices. Add all the juice to the jug and you should end up with just over 3 pts of liquid. Throw the halves into the pan pips and all and pour over the water and juice. On the top dump in all the peelings. Heat this until the fruit has softened.
Spoon the fruit and skin out of the liquid giving the fruit halves a good squeeze on their way out. You can now throw away the fruit but keep the skin peelings. They will have softened in the cooking and you can attack them with gusto with a pair of scissors or a knife so they are cut into little shreds. Very therapeutic.
Return the shreds to the pan and add 3 lbs of sugar.
Bring it all to a rolling boil stirring it until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to setting point 220 F on a sugar thermometer. If you don’t have one use a cold saucer and add a teaspoon of the marmalade when you think it should be setting – usually about 10 to 15 minutes of boiling. Let it cool and push it. If it wrinkles and feels gloopy you have a set.
Adding the pinkiness of the grapefruit makes the final colour really golden, which I rather like.
If you have boiled the stuff to within an inch of its life and it still refuses to set, add jelly or agar gel. I know this is cheating but the fact is, sometimes a batch simply will not set.
Unless anyone knows a patron saint of preserves and their makers?