Mike and I both love grapefruit! For me, it’s a recent passion. When I was little, it always felt too bitter to me. However, a few weeks ago, I tasted a really sweet ruby red grapefruit,with just the right amount of bitterness to it. I’ve been hooked ever since.
I thought it would be interesting to experiment with the flavors of grapefruit, because it is such a strong and distinct flavor. After trying several combinations, I have arrived at one that I really like. Lavender works well with grapefruit. It is a fairly unusual flavor, because until recently it was never considered an ingredient for cooking. It goes very well with the taste of the grapefruit.
I cut four grapefruit, so that I only had the flesh of the fruit. The membrane, the pith and the pits, I set aside, for their pectin. I cooked down the grapefruit in two cups of water for about half an hour. I added two tablespoons of lavender to this.
I experimented with honey as a sweetener instead of sugar. I added a cup of honey to the jam about half an hour into the cooking process. It worked fairly well in this recipe, however, the jam didn’t achieve the thick, gel like consistency that I usually get with sugar. I don’t mind a watery jam, however, if you feel strongly about the texture of your jam, you can replace the honey with sugar.
After cooking the fruit down on medium heat for an hour and a half, I added two tablespoons of vanilla essence and another teaspoon of lavender. I continued cooking for another half hour before bottling.
This was a fairly small experiment. It yielded five four ounce jars.
All of the flavors come together beautifully. There is still some bitterness, but if you like the taste of grapefruit, you will enjoy this jam. It is fragrant and unusual and delicious.
4 large ruby grapefruit
3 tablespoons of lavender
1 cup of honey
2 tablespoons of pure vanilla essence