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i bring you the pretty

Recipe: chocolate-covered candied grapefruit

I have to remind myself that even if a shoot was challenging and disappointing, it doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t keepers. I’ve muddled through my shots from Zion and Bryce. Click the links to see the images on the photo blog. For those of you too lazy to do so, here’s a sneaky peeky:

sunrise over bryce canyon


a mossy waterfall in zion

slot canyon

Even though you weren’t there with me during the shoot, you get to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Based on the photos alone, you might have thought we had a fantastic time. That’s kind of how it is with this here recipe, so if you think you might be tempted to make this, please read my words and don’t come back hating me when your kitchen and everything you touch is covered in sticky sugary syrup.


peeling as much pith away as possible

I have been candying orange peels and lemon slices quite a bit this winter. I’ve read about attempts to candy grapefruit peels – some successful and some not so successful. I might have been stuck on the idea of candying the peels if it hadn’t been for my candied lemon slices. The fruity flesh of the lemon turns into a gooey and wonderful candied treat. I wondered if I might be able to do that with grapefruit?

cut out the core with a serrated knife (please be careful)

peel away the membranes

I just wanted the grapefruit flesh because I was pretty sure that wouldn’t end up bitter the way some peels have for others. I was careful to keep the segments whole because I’m delusional and thought they would remain in one piece during the candying process. Just try to remove as much membrane and pith as possible. I used four grapefruit.

pretty segments

into the boiling sugar water they go

I let the grapefruit simmer in the sugar water for about 90 minutes. At first I was dismayed that they began to separate, but by the end of the 90 minutes (you’ll probably simmer for less time if you are at sea-level) I had come to accept that it was going to be one big grapefruity mess. Rather than picking them out with tongs or chopsticks, I had to scoop them out with a mesh skimmer. DO save the sugar water in a jar – I’ll post a great recipe that uses it. I spread the grapefruit out on a large mesh splatter screen and let it dry for four days. At the end of the four days, I gathered up the sticky mess into a mound the size of a racquetball.

see what i mean?

not a huge yield

The candy itself tasted fine. It tasted good. I wasn’t sure if chocolate would make it better or worse, but I relied on my experience with dark chocolate and other citrus. I rolled the sticky candied grapefruit mess into tiny balls (not more than a half teaspoon) until I had about 2 dozen. They dipped easily enough into the tempered dark chocolate.

candied grapefruit


When you bite into one of these nuggets it’s hard to identify that it’s grapefruit unless someone tells you that it’s grapefruit. Everyone who tried one loved it. The dark chocolate works wonders with candied citrus. The next time I make this, I’m going to double the amount of grapefruit I candy. It’s not bitter at all. In fact, it’s perfectly grapefruity.

makes for a pretty pink morsel

Chocolate-covered Candied Grapefruit
[print recipe]

4-8 grapefruits, peeled, trimmed of pith, membranes removed, segmented
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
tempered chocolate for dipping (optional)

Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a large saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Let the sugar water come to a boil. When it reaches a temperature of 230°F (213°F @8500 ft.), add the grapefruit and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer (don’t boil) for an hour (you can simmer as much as 2 hours). Remove the grapefruit from the sugar syrup with a mesh skimmer, reserving the sugar syrup (I have a great cocktail for it that I’ll post soon). Spread the grapefruit on a mesh surface (mesh helps it dry faster) and let dry until tacky (not wet) to the touch. This may take a while. It took me 4 days. Roll/shape the grapefruit into balls (about 1/2 teaspoon each). Enrobe in tempered dark chocolate. Makes 2 dozen (for four grapefruits).

35 nibbles at “i bring you the pretty”

  1. Daiming Zhu says:

    Haha! I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the grapefruit after boiling.
    You make candy-making look SOO easy! My candied peels ALWAYS turn out way to hard and unchewable!
    I wonder why…

  2. Fiona says:

    As instructed, I read the recipe. My concern is that if I let something sticky dry in my kitchen for 4 days…the dog hair might adhere to it. Wouldn’t that be pretty?

    So this might have to wait until I can send the doggie peeps to the spa. Would it be extravagant to send them away for a weekend solely to make grapefruit candy?

    I’m loving the photographs this week.

  3. Kim says:

    No such thing as a bad picture at Bryce, really. So beautiful. Oh I want that grapefruit candy so badly. I just don’t want to have to make it… gonna settle for some fresh grapefruit for breakfast.

  4. trolleira says:

    Hi Jen, would you think the recipe works good with lime? I have a lime tree and millions of lime, I think I might try this with them.

    Greetings from Brazil,

  5. Lisa says:

    We did not get good pictures of sunrise at Bryce Canyon as yours when we visited three years ago. However, we got beautiful views of the sunset there. Good pictures, Jen.

  6. Mulan says:

    OMG. I wish I lived in the same country as you! They look beautiful! xxx

  7. Carolyn Jung says:

    I bet this is totally fab. The bright yet bitter taste of the grapefruit would be heaven with deep, rich dark chocolate. Plus, I’d get my Vitamin C-quotient for the day, right? ;)

  8. Brooke @ Food Woolf says:

    Wow. What a great idea. A perfect gift and, if you’re careful, snack for when you’re out there in the wilderness taking amazing photos! Bittersweet fruit and chocolate rules!

  9. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday says:

    I’d love to do this with lemon. Maybe coated in white chocolate.

  10. heather says:

    how lovely! dainty Easter sweets.



  11. Kaitlin says:

    These are gorgeous! I definitely need to give this a try. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Valérie says:

    Ah, Bryce Canyon… I know it’s gorgeous (saw it many years ago), but your pictures really bring out unique perspectives.

    I’m familiar with candied oranges, but never thought about grapefruit. It must taste great, and your candy looks fantastic!

  13. Anna says:

    Woah! That sounds absolutely awesome! I’ve seen jam made like that, but I love what you did even more. Jam filled chocolate is a very unique, ingenious, idea.

  14. farmerpam says:

    I love how neat you make them look. I can only imagine the mess it took to get there.

  15. Ruth says:

    The photos of Bryce and Zion are amazing! I biked through both parks seven summers ago (it was really hot!) and just fell in love with the landscape. Thanks for reminding me of these wonderful places in your country.


  16. Andrea says:

    Your photos always blow me away. I love grapefruit, candied citrus, and dark chocolate…these are definitely on the to-do list!

  17. KittyT says:

    I’m thinking maybe the best thing would be to remove some of the peel on the sloping sides of the grapefruit enough to expose lots of the surface of the fruit, then boil, then remove the leftover white parts.

    I’ve candied enough pineapple to know that not every bit of the fruit needs to be exposed. And I have seen candied orange sections without any peel in candy shops in Germany. All that’s left is trying it with pineapple. :)

  18. Nicole says:

    I spent yesterday morning perusing the internet looking for recipes for sizzling rice soup. This is not how I normally spend my Thursday mornings but because I am home recovering from a tonsillectomy……….as an adult……..yuck…..that is what my days have come to. I was elated to find your recipe and also to find your blog. Your pictures you take are beautiful and inspirational. Your food looks amazing and I immediately stopped my dose of liquid Vicodin, opted for some extra strength Tylenol instead and headed to my nearest Asian market. 33.00 dollars and an hour later I was armed with all the ingredients I needed for my try at the soup and spring rolls. Everything was delicious and surprisingly easy to eat, considering my condition. Thank you for your recipes, your beautiful food pics, and your writing. I am now a follower and look forward to learning more from you!

  19. Ruth Ann says:

    Amazing photos of both the canyons and the grapefruit candy. I love the color of the grapefruit. The rolling it in chocolate idea seems intriguing and yummy. What a good idea!

  20. Stephanie says:

    These look amazing. I wish I had the patience for something like this.. I don’t have a problem MAKING things, it’s the clean up that is the problem! So this would definitely be a nightmare in the kitchen. Squeezing Blood Oranges is hard enough around here.

  21. Dani says:

    Ha, Fiona (#2)’s comment made me laugh..” my concern is that if I let something sticky let dry in my kitchen dry for 4 days, the dog hair might adhere to it.”

    HA. Love ur blog, love ur followers. Makes me happy that there are others like me out there :)

  22. Y says:

    How pretty! At first I thought you would be candying the rind. This is so much more unusual and special. Those canyon photos are a sight too!

  23. Manggy says:

    Oh hey! You made it work – and how! Very intriguing and unique. Now I’m just wondering how the end product would be if you did include the membrane anyway.

  24. Sil BsAs says:

    You make it look soooo easy!
    I love the idea, I love grapefruit and of course chocolate but I wonder where did you leave the candied fruit dry, I can’t think of a place in my house where it would be safe from dust or from hubby…

  25. Mrs Ergül says:

    The shoot sure did yield great keepers!

    The grapefruits seem like a lot of work! And there isn’t an inch of surface in my home where these won’t get attacked by ants while drying! How do you keep them out??

  26. jenyu says:

    Trolleira – That’s an interesting idea. I don’t know. It sounds like it would be good, doesn’t it? :)

    Brooke – hello sweetie! YOU rule :)

    farmerpam – oh the mess… indeed I didn’t photograph the mess!

    KittyT – I think after boiling it down, you won’t be in a mood to remove anything. It all sticks together.

    Stephanie – yup, I think that is why I consider this recipe difficult… the cleanup.

    Manggy – you can tell that the connective tissue/membrane is there when you bite into it – it doesn’t get nearly as soft as the rest of it. :/

    Sil BsAs – Well, it’s dry in our house and I left it out on a table (the table where I shoot half of my photos) for four days. Seemed to do alright, although my dog is pretty good about leaving those things alone.

    Mrs. E – so far we haven’t had issues with ants here *knock on wood*! Also, my kitchen in on the second floor of the house.

  27. bluejeangourmet says:

    a beautiful post from beginning to end–you do, indeed, bring the pretty!

  28. Marisa says:

    What an unusual & inspired idea for candy! Now if only I had your patience to wait for 4 days…

  29. Caitlin says:

    All that careful segmentation :P I absolutely love the color of grapefruit, but have never just candied the flesh. What a neat idea!

  30. Julia says:

    these are so cute. Beautiful photos of the canyon, too.

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  34. Zuzana says:

    What a excellent idea! I love this recipe and will try it asap :)

    Great job and perfect pictures!

  35. Sandy Henry says:

    This recipe works wonderfully! It was such a great after dinner treat with plenty leftover for a work day! If you are looking for something to do with those grapefruit rinds, here is a pinterest page with a how-to recipe for a grapefruit rind allergy busting tea: It’s a win win by eliminating any waste of the fruit and you end up with a delicious treat! Great post!

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