Thursday 3 May 2012

Trio of grapefruit sweets

We get a weekly fruit box delivered to work. This is a brilliant thing - it somewhat mitigates the temptation to snack on chocolate and cake in the mid afternoon - but some of the choices are a bit eccentric. A whole coconut is not easy to eat in an office environment. Neither is a whole pineapple. Watching someone take a bite of what they think is an orange segment, only to discover it is grapefruit, is a perfect comedy moment but not a very useful piece of fruit for eating out of hand.

So. I had 5 pink grapefruit on a Friday afternoon, looking unloved and slightly the worse for wear, so I took them home to give them a little TLC.

I used some zest and juice to create lovely fluffy marshmallows. I used this recipe but used grapefruit juice instead of water both to dissolve the gelatine and to make the syrup, and added the grated zest of one of the grapefruit to the gelatine mixture. The texture wasn't 100% perfect - the fact that I was using a manual eggbeater pretty much meant I gave up whisking too soon - more like Turkish delight than a commercial marshmallow, but the flavour was brilliant. The grapefruit gave it a real tang and a much more grown up flavour. I can totally see why posh marshmallows seem to be having a bit of a moment.

Then I used more rind and juice to make some grapefruit jellies, also known as Pâtes de Fruits. I followed the method for Dan Lepard's mulled wine jellies, substituting the juice for the fruity liquidy bits in the recipe and adding the finely grated zest of one grapefruit. These actually weren't very successful. They weren't remotely pink as you can see, but they also had very little grapefruit flavour; the overwhelming flavour was apple from the pectin. And strangely, the combination of apple and grapefruit actually tasted a bit like mango.

second attempt at the jellies 
I thought it over for a couple of days, then melted down the jellies with the juice and zest of another grapefruit, brought it back up to 106C and re-set them. Second time around they were delicious and very grapefruity!

The remaining grapefruit peels I turned into orangettes (pampelmoussettes?) - I carefully scraped away all the pith, blanched them in 3 changes of water then boiled in a simple sugar solution until translucent, rolled in granulated sugar and then left overnight to dry out a little. I decided to give them a bit of extra prettiness with pink sparkle sugar and some white chocolate. I didn't want to waste the rest of the melted white chocolate, so I stirred it into my coffee. It seemed like a good idea at 7 in the morning.

Grapefruit returning to the office in a more user-friendly fashion


leaf (the indolent cook) said...

That is brilliant. Three sweets out of one fruit! The tang of grapefruit is so suited for sweet things, too, I reckon.

Jenny said...

Foodycat, I made marshmallows using the same recipe without the grapefruit but with an electric whisk. They weren't quite as airy as a supermarket one but were much airier than turkish delight. I'd definitely recommend the electric whisk.

Joanne said...

I LOVE grapefruit so I would have been happy to eat them out of your fruit basket, but the jellies are a pretty genius idea!

Caroline said...

I really, really want to have a go at sweetie making. These all look great, and a very good way of making your unloved grapefruit more palatable. I wish I had been there to see someone eating the grapefruit 'as-is' though!!!

Bettina Douglas said...

I imagine this was very popular at the office!

Suelle said...

What great ideas. I'd love all of these, but unfortunately I shouldn't eat grapefruit now. I really misss them!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Leaf - there was a Victorian company that used to do pink grapefruit jellies, and I think they are my all-time favourite sweetie!

Jenny - I know, but the one I have is very erratic and usually sprays more mixture over the kitchen than stays in the bowl!

Joanne - I love that the jellies were vegetarian, too.

Caroline - it was the Executive Director and it was hilarious!

Mother - yes, they don't mind being my guineapigs! I get to make more sweet stuff now!

Suelle - is this a warfarin thing? Such a strange interaction!

kat said...

I think my husband would flip over grapefruit marshmallows.

Suelle said...

Not Warfarin - grapefruit interacts somehow with statins, prescribed for high cholesterol.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Such pretty little grapefruit treats and so creative. Makes me want to go buy a box of grapefruit of my own. ;-)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Kat - you should give them a go (when you are fully recovered from your surgery)

Sue - the human body really is amazing, isn't it? What an odd interaction.

Deb - thanks! I can definitely recommend the candied peels. They were my favourite.


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