Cookbook Envy

Cookbook Envy

Recently I suffered a bout of cookbook envy. Surely I am not the only one to have experienced this. In my case – just last week – I was happily enjoying a cup of tea at a friend’s house, flipping through the pages of David Herbert’s Complete Perfect Recipes and *wham* I was struck with it. Cookbook envy. Just as Veruca Salt screeched for an oompa loompa I wanted to cry out ‘I want this book, I want it now!’ You see, I have one David Herbert cookbook, but I don’t have this David Herbert cookbook. Resisting the urge to behave like a petulant child, I made polite conversation about David Herbert and his marvelous recipes, while quietly eying off the many recipes that I wanted to try. I spotted one ‘must-have’ recipe and with my friend’s permission quickly copied down the Complete Perfect Recipes’ directions for marmalade. So although I now have a few jars of delicious grapefruit marmalade in my kitchen, I still have only one David Herbert cookbook.


Grapefruit Marmalade adapted from David Herbert’s Complete Perfect Recipes

  • 1 kg grapefruit (2 or 3 grapefruits)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1kg sugar

Scrub the fruit to remove any waxy residue. Place the whole grapefruit in a large saucepan and cover with 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil, uncovered, and simmer for 2 hours. If the grapefruit are large, they may not be completely submerged and will need to be turned part way through the cooking time.

Remove the grapefruit and reserve the cooking liquid. When cool, quarter the fruit and separate the flesh from the skin. Finely chop the fruit and finely shred the skin, saving pips and juice.

Bring the cooking liquid back up to a medium heat, add the grapefruit pips and the lemon juice and boil for 10 minutes.  Turn down the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the pips. Add the chopped fruit, skin and reserved juice to the pan, increase heat and boil until reduced by one third.

Reduce heat, add the sugar and stir well to ensure sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and boil rapidly for about 20 minutes, or until setting point* has been reached. Be careful, the marmalade will be very hot! Allow the marmalade to cool slightly, give it a stir, then pour into warm sterilized jars* and seal. Attach some labels and share with your friends!


*For tips on testing for setting point and how to sterilize jars see my previous post Peach Jam.