“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans. ” Ronald Reagan, American president and Jelly Belly fan
This is one of my daughter’s favorite recipes to share with friends on special holidays such as Valentine’s Day. I managed to pry it out of her hands in order to share it with you. 🙂
Candy making is no joke, but these are oh so good — soft, chewy, citrusy and pink! It’s worth the trouble.
Grapefruit Gum Drops
Candy making happens quickly and requires adult supervision. Do not start this recipe until you have completed steps 1 and 2.
- Equipment: Line an 8- by 4-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil that extends over the edges on the long sides. (This is to allow you to pull out the hardened candy in one piece.) Coat the foil with cooking spray or a light smear of Crisco. Set aside. Next, put two heavy-bottomed kettles on your stove. One should hold at least 1 1/2 quarts. The other should hold at least two quarts. You will also need a candy thermometer and two, long-handled spoons.
- Ingredients: Do all the assembly and measurements now. You will need 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup light corn syrup, 3/4 cup freshly squeezed and strained red grapefruit juice, 1 teaspoon red grapefruit zest minced into oblivion, 1 1.75-ounce package of powdered fruit pectin, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1-2 drops red food coloring (optional) and 1/2 cup sugar (pink, white or a mix of the two) for dusting
Now, in the smaller kettle, combine the sugar and corn syrup. Turn heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is boiling steadily across the surface. Once that boil is reached, reduce the heat to medium, stop stirring and insert the candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Heat mixture about 7-10 minutes until it reaches 280 degrees F (soft-crack stage).
While this mixture is cooking in the no-stir stage, combine grapefruit juice, pectin and baking soda in the other pan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove heat when boil is reached.
Working very quickly, turn off heat as soon as sugar mixture reaches 280 degrees. Bring juice mixture back to a boil and pour sugar mixture into the juice mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. (A second cook in the kitchen can be helpful here. Have one person stir and the other pour.)
Remove from heat. Add zest and food coloring. Pour mix into the prepared loaf pan and let stand at least two hours at room temp or until firm enough to cut.
Using the foil edges, lift the candy from the pan and place on cutting board. Cut into a 4 by 8 grid using a large chef’s knife. Remove the foil backing. Roll each cube in the dusting sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to two weeks.
A note: Clean up is not as hard as it will look. Water dissolves sugar very well. Just soak everything before hand washing or putting it in the dishwasher.