Thursday, December 3

Grapefruit Getaway

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Tangy and versatile — grapefruit can add zesty flavor

Before the citrus season gets away from you, take advantage of juicy, sweet, tangy grapefruit. Let these recipes prove that grapefruit belongs anywhere on the menu, not just at breakfast.

Grapefruit Wafer Pie

Yield: 8 servings
  • 7 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 18 vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup grapefruit juice
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup sugar
  1. Combine the crushed graham crackers and melted butter until moist crumbs form. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Arrange the cookies — with the rounded side out — around the sides of the dish to form the outer crust. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the milk, juice, and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Pour into the crust and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites at high speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar. Gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the meringue forms glossy peaks, around 3 minutes.
  4. Spoon the meringue over the filling, spreading all the way to the edges. Bake until the meringue is golden brown in spots, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cover and refrigerate before serving.

Grapefruit Freeze

Yield: about 2 quarts
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (46-ounce) can unsweetened grapefruit juice
  • Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Pour the juice into an 8-cup container. Add the sugar syrup, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. Pour the mixture into two 1-quart freezer containers. Cover and freeze. Remove from the freezer 1 hour before serving. Spoon the slushy mixture into chilled custard cups, garnish with mint and serve.

Meltaway Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen cookies
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup plus ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided and softened
  • 2 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grapefruit juice, divided
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, cornstarch, ⅓cup of the confectioners’ sugar, 1½ sticks of the butter, 1 teaspoon of the zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice. Beat on low speed 3 minutes or until well combined. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into an 8-by-1-inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With a sharp knife, cut each log into ¼-inch slices. Place the slices 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies will not be brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining confectioners’ sugar, butter, zest and juice on low speed of an electric mixer. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes until fluffy. Frost the cooled cookies.
  1. Note: Store in cookie tins or any airtight container.

Grapefruit Margarita

Yield: 3 servings
  • ½ cup grapefruit juice
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Place the grapefruit juice, tequila, lime juice and honey in a shaker and add ice. Shake well and strain into ice-filled glasses. Serve immediately.

Candied Grapefruit Peel

Yield: 40 strips
  • 2 grapefruits
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  1. Quarter the grapefruits lengthwise and remove the peels, including the white pith. Cut the pieces diagonally into ½-inch strips. Reserve the fruit for another use.
  2. Place the peel in a large saucepan and fill with cold water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute and drain. Repeat 4 times.
  3. Combine the granulated sugar and water in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the peels and continue stirring until nearly all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  4. Place a lightly greased wire rack over a jellyroll pan. Pour the peels onto the rack, separating the pieces. Dry uncovered at room temperature 6 to 8 hours or until only slightly sticky. Toss the dry peels in the superfine sugar, shaking off the excess. Serve as a light dessert after a heavy meal.
  1. Note: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If the peels become too moist, roll again in the sugar. The peels will keep up to 1 month.

Grapefruit-Glazed Ham

Yield: 12 servings
  • 1 (5 pound) spiralized ham
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup grapefruit juice
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease the rack of a roasting pan and place the ham on the rack. Bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the honey, juice, sugar and zest. Heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to melt the sugar and honey. Set aside to cool slightly and thicken. Spread the glaze over the ham. Continue baking for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve warm with Grapefruit Sauce (recipe follows).

Grapefruit Sauce

Yield: 3 cups
  • 1½cups grapefruit juice, divided
  • ¾ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 drops red food coloring, optional
  1. In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine 1 cup of the juice, water, sugar, zest and salt. Cook, stirring constantly for 4 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining juice, cornstarch and food coloring, if desired. Whisk until smooth and slowly add to the saucepan. Whisk constantly for 4 additional minutes until thickened. Serve warm with glazed ham, grilled pork chops or roasted chicken.

Grapefruit is a GREAT fruit!

  • The best supplies will continue to be plentiful on the market for the next month.
  • Look for those with smooth skins and that are free of any bruises. Soft spots are a sign that there is an internal breakdown of quality.
  • Any small surface brown spots on the outer skin are due to wind and do not influence quality.
  • Since a grapefruit is more than three-quarters liquid, heaviness is a good indication of juice content.
  • Don’t rely solely on color for an indication of flavor. Skin color ranges from pale yellow to light rose depending on the variety.
  • If you stock up, store these fruits in the refrigerator if possible. At room temperature, they will keep for about one week, but in the fridge, they can keep up to three weeks.
  • Like all citrus fruits, zesting the skin is a great way to add flavor to recipes without adding extra liquid. Stop zesting when you reach the white area, which will be bitter. Use a zester or a grater to make the task easy.
  • The origin of this citrus fruit is unknown. It was first mentioned in writings in 1750. The pummelo likely played an important role in the family tree.
  • Around 1840, a Spaniard named Don Phillippe planted the first grapefruit trees in Florida.
  • Explorer John Lunan coined the name around 1814 due to its grape-like habit of growing fruit in bunches.
  • Nearly 80 percent of the U.S. crop is grown in Florida with the rest cultivated in California, Arizona and Texas.

ASK Chef Tammy

Dear Tammy,
I am doing some kitchen cleaning and in doing so realize I have literally 14 sets of tongs in my gadget drawer. Can you please guide me as to the best kinds to keep so I can get rid of the extra clutter?
— Michelle

Dear Michelle,

Tongs are things I can’t live without. They make it easy to grab hot food quickly and efficiently without getting burned. My go-to tongs are 12 inches long and have scalloped edges. They are also spring-loaded. I have two sets that are identical, and they take care of every tong task just fine. Save a couple like that, and you can donate the extras.

Email your cooking questions to Tammy Algood: You may be featured in the next issue of The Tennessee Magazine!


About Author

Tammy Algood

Tammy Algood develops for The Tennessee Magazine recipes that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce. For more information about our recipes, contact Algood at

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