Last month however she went "off piste" and pink grapefruit and gin marmalade was the result.
After seeing pix on Facebook I decided to make some myself, well February is Grapefruit month after all.
I asked google to find me a quick and easy recipe and discovered one on the aptly named "gintime - the site for gin lovers everywhere".
Pink Gin Marmalade
- 1 kg pink grapefruit
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 litres water
- 1.5 kg white sugar
- 100 ml Gin
First of all give the rinds a really good scrub in some hot water to removes the wax. Cut the grapefruits and lemon in half and juice them. Remove all the loose bits inside but leave the white pith on the peel. Chop the grapefruit into strips. Place the peel and juices into a big pan and pour over the water. Put the pips of the fruit into a piece of muslin and secure with a string and place this in the pan (the pips contain pectin which helps the marmalade set). Bring the contents of the pan to the boil and then simmer gently for about two and a half hours. By this time the fruit should be soft and transparent and the liquid will have reduced by a third.
Take off the heat and add the sugar. Stir and allow to sit for a moment to dissolve. While you are doing this, set your oven to 150C or gas 2. Wash the jars in hot soapy water then rinse but do not dry. Place the jars upside down in the oven and leave them for 30 mins, then switch the oven off and use them while they are still hot. When you take them out of the oven make sure they are not placed on metal – use a wooden chopping board.
Give the fruit a good stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer. You now need to watch out for the setting point. It is difficult to put an exact time on this as it depends on the size and shape of your pan and how much you are making. If you have a sugar thermometer use this and look out for it reaching 106C. Otherwise test for the setting point every few minutes by placing a drop of the liquid on a chilled saucer, place the saucer in the fridge for a moment and then push your finger through it. If it crinkles then it is at setting point. Once this is reached take the pan off the heat immediately. Allow the marmalade to sit for 20 minutes before stirring in the gin and pouring it into the jars. Seal the jars immediately and carefully (because they will be very hot) turn them upside down to create a vacuum in the jar. Allow to cool, then store in a cool, dark place.
Prepping 3 large grapefruits took longer than I thought it would but I got a lot of juice out of them and when I got the hang of it the messy stuff from inside came away fairly easily.
I added the water and the muslin bag with a very few pips in.
so then this happened..............
I tipped the sugar into the juice and put the pan on the gas stove.
Help! I'd missed out one very important step.
Bring the contents of the pan to the boil and then simmer gently for about two and a half hours. By this time the fruit should be soft and transparent and the liquid will have reduced by a third. Take off the heat and add the sugar. Stir and allow to sit for a moment to dissolve.
Well, I cooked that sugary fruity peel for 5 hours and all I got was a thick syrup with peel in it!
I left it (and me) to cool overnight and woke up the next morning determined not to give up.
Pinterest provided the inspiration needed to save the day.
After straining the strips of grapefruit peel from the syrup, I baked some in a cake to have with tea that afternoon and froze the rest to add to more cakes and desserts in the future.
The syrup was poured into freezer containers and was magically transformed into the most delicious, palest pink grapefruit and gin sorbet, voila!
oh, yes you can!