Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crimson Honey Grapefruit


I signed on to Tigress' Can Jam which is sort of like Daring Bakers, but with canning.   Each month in 2010, a canning challenge is thrown down, and there are 100+ of us signed up to do it.  Check out Tigress's blogs - they are great.  She is an electronic music promoter in NYC, and keeps 2 fantastic canning blogs...Tigress in a Jam and Tigress in a Pickle

The January Can Jam challenge is citrus.   I was in a bind about what to make.   I like chutney, but made some last year that I still haven't finished up.  There's only so much Major Grey's chutney a family can eat. (memo to my fellow Can Jam brothers and sisters: that chutney recipe is a great one if you are at a loss for what to can this month) I like marmalade, but I'd be eating it by myself because no one else in La Maisson du MothersKitchen will eat it.   So, I decided to can grapefruit.   I love it for breakfast, but it is such a pain to section and eat on a work/school day morning.    I found a recipe that inspired me in The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which is the book I recommend to anyone that's taking up canning for the first time, or even for canning veterans.  It's got lots of great tips and inspiring recipes. 

One of the goals of the Can Jam is to use local foods when possible.   I look at my kitchen sink window thermometer tells me it's 12 F outside this morning, and we got a little over 3 inches of snow yesterday (not enough to cancel school), so there's not much local food to be found here in Michigan!  However, last fall I bought some honey from Lesser Farm so I used that in this recipe, as well as I used Old Orchard brand cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, which is made in Michigan.   As for the grapefruit, well, it's from Texas.    Here's how I made the recipe...it made 5 pints.  I got the grapefruit for $3.99, and the cranberry cocktail was $1.73 and the honey probably worked out to be about 50 cents, so this recipe worked out to cost about $1.25 per jar.  Considering that the jarred stuff at the grocery store is $5 per jar, canning it yourself is a great deal!  And I think it tastes better, too. 

Crimson Honey Grapefruit
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1 large bag (18lb) grapefruit - I used ruby red grapefruit, but any kind would work
1 large can frozen cranberry cocktail, thawed and undiluted
2/3 c. honey

Peel grapefruit with a knife, removing all the white pith.  Cut each fruit longitudinally (from top to bottom) in half, and with a knife, remove the center membrane and the seeds.   Flip the halves cut side down and slice the halves into 1/4 inch slices.   Measure fruit and juice until there's 16 cups.   Mine came out almost exactly that for an 18 lb bag, but it depends on how big the grapefruits are.  Don't worry too much.  If you end up with more, you could make some more syrup, or less, you can use less.   Note that grapefuit is acidic enough to can on it's own without anything added - the cranberry honey syrup is for color and flavor, so don't worry too much about exact proportions. If you want to make it sweeter, add more honey.

In a large dutch oven (or a big pot), heat up the grapefruit and it's juice, the cranberry cocktail syrup and the honey and heat until the honey dissolves.   Using a slotted spoon, pack hot grapefruit into hot jars (I used pints) until you have 1/2 inch headspace.  Ladle some hot syrup in, leaving a half inch or so, and use a cocktail stirrer or a chop stick to get the air pockets out and add more syrup if you need to.  Wipe rim, put on the lid and band and tighten until fingertip tight.   Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.   Remove canner lid and let jars sit for 5 minutes, then take them out of the canner and let them cool for 24 hours.   If you have extra syrup, save it.  It makes a pretty grapefruit cocktail by shaking it in a cocktail shaker with some crushed ice and vodka, or you could even drink it with breakfast in the morning without the cocktail, if you are so inclined.

The honey is a great compliment to the grapefruit's tartness, and the cranberry makes the whole thing a pretty pink color.   I really love how this came out.  Here's to winter canning!


16 comments:

Kate said...

Yum! I might have to make this to help survive my summer grapefruit deprivation.

TeacherPatti said...

I'm totally signing on to this! I have a shitload of cranberry sauce that I made and froze (using MI cranberries) and I can make some orange cranberry stuff (I do not like grapefruit).
My dad stays part-time in FL and he has oranges in his backyard. He's not there now or else I'd have him send me some!!! I think I'll do that next time he's there.

Maggie said...

I love the idea of canning grapefruit at home! Does the finished product taste cooked?

Since my canning time is soon to be limited (with my gestation ending in April) I think I should avoid joining but will look forward to bookmarking a ton of ideas.

Alex Harrison said...

I'm totally impressed! I thought Daring Bakers was crazy...but this is crazy cool. And I love the addition of a photo. : ) Very inspiring.

Kim said...

Looks wonderful! I'll have to give this a try.
Kim
www.homestead-acres.com/blog

Tricia said...

I have in-laws who live smack dab in the middle of Texas grapefruit country. They probably even grow some in their backyard (I know they have plenty of other citrus trees). Does your grapefruit bag say Edinburg? They probably drive by that orchard on occasion.

All that to say: can we grant you a "local by association" exception? :^)

Catalina said...

O this looks like a great recipe!
I haven't eaten grapefruit in a looooong time (once you've had a fruit shoot out your nose you tend to avoid it from then on -LOL), but this recipe sounds delish!
Yum Yum!

ap269 said...

This sounds yummy. I don't like the bitterness of grapefruits, but I could imagine the honey is compensating for that a little bit. What is Cranberry Juice Cocktail Concentrate? Here in Germany, I can get fresh cranberries or dried cranberries. Maybe even some juice. Could I use that? Here's my citrus post: http://ap269.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/tigress-can-jam-1-citrus-citrus-marmalade/

Mom said...

Cranberry juice concentrate is what we use in the US to make juice - it's frozen. If you don't have it, any red colored juice will do.

Mom said...

Maggie - the finished product doesn't taste cooked.

Melanie said...

What a wonderful idea! I'll definately have to try this!
I'd never thought about canning grapefruit before... Thanks for the great recipe!!

Sandy said...

You'll have to break out a jar next time I visit. I would love to try it.

Sandy said...
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Julia said...

Looks divine! I raise my glass to you!

RJ Flamingo said...

This is different! Never would have occurred to me to preserve the actual fruit - what a great idea! I have the same question: Does it taste "cooked"? I made a couple of different marmalades for the Can Jam - and seeing as this is my first time ever canning, I could use some feedback. :-)

pixie_lou said...

I had bookmarked this post in January when reading the CanJam round up. I got my last shipment of Florida Citrus this past week, so tried making a couple pints of this. Yummy. My 5 year old even likes it! (And that's my barometer of canning success!)