Pink Grapefruit Habanero Jam

Pink Grapefruit Habanero jam is a unique hot pepper jam with an irresistible sweet hot flavor…pair it with some cream cheese and crackers for the best appetizer ever.

Pink grapefruit habanero jam with cream cheese and crackers

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.

Pink grapefruit habanero jam on a cracker with cream cheese

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.

habanero peppers for pink grapefruit habanero jam

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.

Jars of pink grapefruit habanero jam stacked

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


Also try ~


3.23 from 27 votes

Pink Grapefruit Habanero Jam

Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • 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.
  • Weigh out an equal amount of sugar. I used slightly less than an exact equal amount of sugar: about 1 1/2 pounds.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make this grapefruit habanero hot pepper jam your own ~

  • The habanero pepper makes this jam hot, but not unbearably so. If you want less heat, use a red jalapeno instead.
  • Try this with other citrus fruit like oranges or tangerines.

Pink Grapefruit Habanero jam is a unique hot pepper jam with an irresistible sweet hot flavor...pair it with some cream cheese and crackers for the best appetizer ever.  #appetizer #jam #recipe #easy #grapefruit #habanero #smallbatch #refrigerator #freezer #citrus #jelly



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  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Love the idea of this flavor combination! My husband cans habanero apricot jam nearly every summer, but he struggles to maintain the heat of the peppers. Thinking that maybe the cooking destroys the heat, he now adds the peppers in at the last minute. Do you have any tricks about keeping the heat?

    • Reply
      March 8, 2020 at 9:11 am

      I haven’t had that problem with my hot pepper jellies and jams, Saja, and from what I’ve read cooking doesn’t have a huge affect either way on peppers’ heat level. He should be sure to include the whole pepper, seeds and all, for the most bang for his buck!

  • Reply
    Jody Chesson
    December 30, 2019 at 9:34 am

    I ended up adding the juice of 1 lemon to cut the bitter after taste. Otherwise the recipe is fantastic!!

    • Reply
      December 30, 2019 at 9:38 am

      Thanks Jody!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    I love this idea! What would I do different I fb I want to water process this to make it keep longer at room temp?

  • Reply
    November 20, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Hi we had a lot of trouble with the cooking time. In our experience, the 1 hour is far too long. First batch burned at 40 mins. Second batch went for around 25 and is it burners but way too thick. Has anyone made this using temperature? Most jams set around 220F but with so much water in it it needs to boil a bit longer. What have others done on time and temp?

    • Reply
      November 21, 2018 at 4:32 am

      I stay with the jam constantly toward the end so if it starts to stick to the pan I’ll be right there.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2018 at 4:11 am

    Hey, I’m a big fan of your recioes. So easy to prepare at home. I’m finding it a bit difficult to get pectin. So, can you suggest a substitute for pectin? Can i use gelatin instead? And if i can, when can i incorporate the same? While heating or post cooling? Please do let me know

    • Reply
      August 19, 2018 at 8:17 am

      I often make jam without pectin by simply boiling it down until it thickens. I think that would work with this one, too.

  • Reply
    Deb Kirby
    February 16, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Do you remove the membranes from the grapefruit sections? I find them to be quite bitter.

    • Reply
      February 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      You definitely can if you like, Deb. Depending on the grapefruit that can be easy, or kind of fiddly.

  • Reply
    December 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    But it sounds amazing! Really want to try this. I’m new at this so I might ask obvious questions.

    • Reply
      December 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      No, your question wasn’t obvious ~ and now that you mention it, it sounds much better to say 3 cups rather than 1 1/2 pounds!

  • Reply
    December 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Quick question. Does the recipe ask for 1 and 1/2 pounds of sugar?

    • Reply
      December 1, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      It does, it’s based on a one to one ratio of fruit to sugar. It’s about 3 cups.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2016 at 6:40 am

    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!

    • Reply
      September 2, 2016 at 7:28 am

      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 🙂

  • Reply
    karen marie
    September 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

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

    • Reply
      September 17, 2013 at 7:48 am

      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

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