Grapefruit Rose Marmalade

My neighbor has a grapefruit tree, one that fills our backyard with the most beautiful smell.  I often just step outside only to get a sample of the intoxicating perfumed air. I’m not sure if this tree’s aroma is the rule or an exception, in any case the scent is profound.  I really don’t care for grapefruit, it’s too bitter for me, but since becoming captivated with the trees aromatics, I have tried and tried to become a fan of the ruby colored balls.  


I’ve found that while I don’t enjoy eating a grapefruit out of its skin, I do love it’s flavor for cooking and baking.  Our neighbor leaves a sack filled with grapefruit on our front door a few times each year, which I then return to them in form of a cake or a cocktail.  This year I took inspiration from my love of marmalades and the hope of spring flowers popping up soon. 


This recipe came from Desert Candy.  The amount of rose water seems extreme, as a few drops go a very long way when dealing with rose water, but I promise it is perfect.  The most important thing to remember is to keep the pot on a very slow simmer so it caramelizes perfectly, without burning. 


  • 3 large ruby red grapefruits
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 2 tablespoons rose water


1. Set a large pot of water to boil. Cut off the peel of the grapefruits, working to get good thick slices, but leaving the inner white pith closest to the fruit still attached to the fruit. Cut the peels into strips. Blanch the peels by submersing them in boiling water for about three minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under running water. Bring a fresh pot of water to a boil and repeat the blanching process again, this removes any bitterness. Drain and rinse again.


2. Place the peels in a large pot. Cut off all the white pith from the remaining fruits then, working over the pot, cut between the grapefruit membranes so that the fruit sections fall into the pot. Squeeze juice from the membranes and discard them. repeat with remaining fruits.

3. Add the water and sugar to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Lower the heat to a very low simmer. Simmer until the marmalade is thick and translucent, about 90 minutes. The marmalade may still appear a touch watery- keep in mind it will thicken as it cools.

4. Add the vanilla bean seeds and simmer another five minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the rose water (or lemon) and set aside to cool. You could can this and process in a hot water bath or simply store in jars in the fridge.


The marmalades combination of citrus and floral captures the beauty of spring; vibrant colors, lingering floral smells and balanced sweetness spell out spring on your plate.


Spread it on your toast, drape it over grilled fish or chicken, make vinaigrette for the garden greens, and even cover a scoop of vanilla ice cream with it. Then add some fresh flowers from Flowers Cork to the table and everything is complete. Spring is in the air! 


Cherry Rose Hand Pies, a Homemade Childhood Favorite!

We have been taking a lot of trips to the beach lately, which for us is an all-day affair, living 1 ½ hours away from it.  So we get going early, pack a cooler and load the car and are on the road before the morning steam is finished rising.  I discovered last summer that packing chocolate really doesn’t work; it in fact just leads to a plain mess.  So this summer I went with hand pies, perfect for any picnic, lunch box or on the go treat.  I don’t want to knock Hostess or Little Debbie….but…

Cherry Rose Hand Pies

Cherries are in season, and to make these a little more special I added the rose water.  The flavors blend perfectly, giving a floral finish to the cherries.  If you are on Team Hate Rose Water, substitute vanilla extract and double the amounts.  I do know many chefs that detest rose water, but one chef I know recently told me, “Those haters just see it misused a lot”.  A little goes a long way in the case of rose water.

Hand Pies for Everyone!!


Pie Dough –

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 6 tablespoon ice water

Filling –

  • 2 ½ cup pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon rose water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Glaze –

  • 1/2 cup confectioner sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon rose water


 In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until mixed well.  Add the butter and shortening into the bowl and run until it looks like coarse meal.  Slowly add water in until the dough comes together.  Remove the dough from the bowl and knead into a ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour. 

While the dough rests, start the filling. In a medium sauce pan, combine the cherries, sugar, rose water, and salt. Over medium heat allow the ingredients to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring well.  As the juices from the cherries release, remove 4 tablespoons of the sauce and place in a small bowl.  Add the cornstarch into the bowl and mix well.  Stir the cornstarch slurry back into the sauce pan and continue to simmer, stirring constantly until you have the consistency of pie filling.  Remove from bowl and place in refrigerator to cool.

To make the hand pies divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll them into balls. On a floured surface, with a rolling pin, start flattening the balls into 6″-7″ circles. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375. Remove your dough and allow to stand about 5 minutes. In center of circle add 2 tablespoons of the filling and fold in half. Crimp the edges with a fork and poke the fork into the center of each pie to allow the steam to exit.  Place the pies back onto the parchment lined baking sheet and place in oven.  Cook for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is golden.

While the pies are baking, make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl, stirring until smooth.  Once the pies have been removed from the oven, allow them to cool slightly, and then spoon pour the glaze over them.  Allow the glaze to set while the pies continue to cool.

Makes 8 hand pies.  These can be refrigerated up to a week or frozen up to a month.

Lunch Box Favorite!

I love the portability of hand pies, easy and convenient.  But most of all, I love being taken back to the special days of my childhood that I would find a hostess pie in my lunch.