Pink Grapefruit Habanero jam is the ultimate sweet/hot experience…pair it with some cream cheese and crackers and prepare to be wowed!

In my lifetime I’ve seen grapefruit go through a huge transformation.  I remember it as an insanely sour pale yellow fruit that required hard labor with a miniature saw just to separate the tiny wedges of fruit from the tough membrane that surrounded it on all sides.  And then you had to sprinkle boatloads of sugar on top before you even thought about eating it.

Thank goodness today’s rosy sweet grapefruits have come a long way.  Grapefruit has the sweet and the tart flavor of other citrus, but it brings a slight pleasant bitterness to the party as well.  I had so many choices of fun and exotic ways to use grapefruit that I made myself crazy, and didn’t decide till last night that I wanted to make this sweet/tart spicy jam.  The runner up was a spiced rum cocktail with pink grapefruit juice and a peppercorn rimmed glass.  I have to get to that one soon.

I adore hot pepper jams and jellies, but they sometimes disappoint me when they aren’t hot enough.  They tend to be super sweet, and they need that fire to balance them,  When they are made correctly, and paired with a creamy goat cheese on a crisp cracker,  they can be seriously addicting.  This one is the best I’ve made so far.  The 2 habaneros take care of the heat, and the grapefruit adds some mystery to the flavor.  There is sweet, tart, bitter and heat.  Very nice.

This is an easy small batch jam, it doesn’t require special canning equipment, but, like most jams and jellies, it does require a small kitchen scale because you’ll need to weigh out equal amounts of sugar and fruit.  You should have this essential and inexpensive tool in your kitchen anyway.

Pink Grapefruit Habanero Jam

Pink Grapefruit Habanero Jam


  • 5 or 6 pink grapefruit
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • sugar (about 1 1/2 lbs in this case)
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp pectin
  • 5 or 6 small 1/2 pint jam jars


  1. With a sharp serrated knife, slice off the rind from the grapefruits and carefully remove the sections of fruit. Do this over a bowl to catch the juices. After you've removed the flesh, squeeze the pulp to get all of the juice. Discard any seeds. You should have about 1 quart of fruit and juice when you are done. Mine weighed just under 2 lbs.
  2. Weigh out an equal amount of sugar. I used slightly less than an exact equal amount of sugar: about 1 1/2 pounds.
  3. Finely mince the habanero peppers, seeds and all. I did this in my mini food processor. Make sure it's finely chopped, and then add it to the fruit. Be careful, the fumes will be strong, and if you handle any part of the cut pepper you need to wash your hands well.
  4. In a heavy bottomed non-reactive pot put the juice and fruit, peppers, sugar, vinegar and pectin. Stir to combine and heat to a boil.
  5. Continue boiling the jam, uncovered, for about an hour. You don't have to slave over it, just give it a stir now and then, scraping down the sides of the pot. There is more liquid to this jam than in most fruit jams, so it will take proportionately longer to cook down.
  6. When the jam has reduced and thickened, the color will darken a bit and it will look translucent. If your jam has been boiling the whole time, it should be done in an hour. You can test it by spooning a small aount on a very cold plate. If the jam thickens and gels, it's done.
  7. Ladle the hot jam into clean jars. Quickly put the tops on and turn the jars upside down. Let them cool this way. This is a small batch refrigerator jam, meaning you are going to store it in the fridge and eat it relatively soon, so it doesn't require further processing.
  8. Refrigerate the cooled jam. The jam will thicken overnight. The unopened jam should keep for at least a couple of months in the refrigerator. Probably much longer.


  • The habanero pepper makes this jam hot, but not unbearably so.  If you want less heat, use a red jalapeno instead.

Serve with a creamy goat cheese and crackers.  I highly recommend it.



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17 Responses to Day #6 of All Citrus Week: Pink Grapefruit Habanero Jam

  1. Maija says:

    I too love your site and use your recipes often. Thank you for that.
    I’m wondering why you use the pectin if you are boiling the jam down anyway?

    I’ll have to can it. There’s no way I’d use that much that quickly!

    • Sue says:

      You can freeze it, Maija. And I used pectin to give it a firmer set, I like that when it comes to hot pepper jams and jellies. Hope you give it a try :)

  2. karen marie says:

    I’m not clear – you throw the squeezed segments in the pot and discard the skin?

    • Sue says:

      Hey Karen, what I mean is that you want all the juice and the flesh from the grapefruits. Discard the rest (peel, pith and seeds). I do hope you try this, it’s wonderful

  3. Gina S. says:

    Hi Sue,
    Firstly, I absolutely love your blog — it’s one of the few where I actually want to make every single recipe (and the ones I’ve made so far have been amazing).

    Regarding the Grapefruit-Habanero jam, is it possible to process it in a water bath canner to achieve stable shelf life? I assume that it is, but just wanted to check whether you’ve ever done so. I’d like to make some for Christmas presents but need to do so fairly far in advance (and I don’t want a million little jars in my fridge!).
    Thanks in advance for your feedback,

    • Sue says:

      Hey Gina—thanks for the kind words. I haven’t done the traditional canning process with this, but I’m sure it would be fine. By the way, I make a lot of jams and chutneys, and my husband and I both feel that this is one of the best. It’s so unusual, and really works well with cheese. I think it would be a great holiday gift!

  4. grace says:

    yum, yum, yum. also, yum. jam in general might just be my favorite condiment in the world, and this batch sounds amazing!

  5. Joy Bee says:

    Wow I love habaneros. This jam sounds delicious.

  6. annie says:

    Is this the same jam that goes with your little mini brie appetizers? This looks so good! Your photos are so pretty…the light coming through your jam jars. Gorgeous!

  7. Eat Live Love says:

    ooooh so so yummy!

  8. Oh MY!!! I’ve never seen anything like this, but I’m positively intrigued! I can only imagine how wonderful this jam is over that cheese… addicting!

  9. Mary Younkin says:

    Look at all those pretty jars! Any chance one is headed my direction????? I need to make this asap. It sounds fantastic, Sue.

  10. Delicious! I’ve gone out and bought all kinds of citrus! LOL

  11. Another terrific and beautiful post with a citrus star! I hadn’t thought about the transformation grapefruit has made – but you are so right! You make jam and jelly look so easy and serving with cream or goat cheese is perfect. Yum!

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