Winter's citrus season provides so many opportunities for delicious marmalades it's practically criminal not to take advantage of the bounty. There ought to be a law! Case in point: this recipe for Pummelo Marmalade.
I'd never dealt with these big babies before, never having really met one up close. They look like freakishly large grapefruit. The excellent Amagansett IGA produce staff (all-female, all Central American, eagerly helpful despite a charmingly limited knowledge of English) gave me to understand that the pummelo has a grapefruit-y taste but is not as bitter, and also had a nice mix of orange-y flavor in there too.
PLEASE NOTE: This photo of the pummelo looming large over its tiny cousin, the lemon, is for illustrative purposes only. No lemons are harmed in the making of Pummelo Marmalade.
The thickness of pummelo's pith has a lot to do with how quickly and well this marmalade sets. When you peel them, the serene lemony yellow rinds cover a wide swathe of cottony pith. Then, over the course of three quick blanchings, that pith gains a rosy tint. Nice.
This pummelo recipe follows Homa Akbar's Pink Persian Grapefruit Marmalade recipe, which is hereby proclaimed the official Spectacularly Delicious ur-marmalade recipe.
One parting thought before you get cooking: this pummelo marmalade is so delicious that it takes a some of the sting out of the scarcity of Meyer Lemons here on the east coast.
2 big pummelos
4 c. sugar
Peel the fruits. The leathery rind pulls away with a thick layer of puffy white pith.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the rinds for five minutes, then drain. Do this two more times, starting with a fresh pot of water each time.
The peeled fruit is now encased with stringy membranes covering the segments of pulp. This next step might sound daunting, but fear not. The pummelo pulp pulls out of the segments with surprising ease. And that's what you do. Peel back the membrane of each segment and use a finger or thumb to dislodge the juicy interiors. Keep the pulp, toss the membranes and fibers.
Tear the rinds into 2" pieces. Neatness or consistency in size matter not here — this is just to make it easier with this next food processor stage. Put the rinds and pulp into your processor fitted with the chopping place and pulse until smooth, but still with nice bits of pulp visible in the mixture. Not a puree, and thick slurry studded with rind shreds.
Into your Mauviel Small Copper Jam Pan with Brass Handle (or large heavy pot) this goes, along with the sugar. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture thickens — 30 – 45 minutes. It will thicken more upon cooling, so don't worry if after 45 minutes things still appear a little loose.
Using the standard sanitary methods you already know so well, process the jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.