Grapefruit cookies


Many months ago, the  first shape for which E  learnt the word was ‘circle’.  At breakfast one  morning, she stared out of the window, pointed, and said ‘circle’.  And indeed there were: little  spheres sprouting  on the tree in our next-door  neighbour’s garden.

As the circles grew, so did E’s  vocabulary.  Other words were added: tree, oranges, and eventually, as citrus spheres  ripened from green to  yellow, ‘grapefruit’.  Since then our neighbour has kindly allowed us to  gather little harvests from this tree, and now E  may turn to us and request “dada take you in the onbu pick some grapefruit?”

Thank you God for giving growth, change – and fruit.

On the less metaphoric side, little girl’s Mama is now responsible for stewarding  a really generous pile of grapefruit.  We can only drink so much  grapefruit juice (keeping in mind it is yellow grapefruit, the really sour one, not the red, milder one).

We’ve gotten in contact with a local fruit harvesting/distributing charity, but while we’re waiting for things to get sorted we still have a large pile of grapefruit.  So for the last few weeks I’ve had the privilege of exploring how to fit a lot more  grapefruit into our diet.  We’ve tried a  variety  of ideas.    Some have been great, some have been  embarrassing, all have been fun.

Today was cookies.  The classic sugar cookie (I was using a strict 1:2:3 ratio)  requires no  liquid, so  I had to reduce the grapefruit to as little liquid as possible to avoid ending up with  cake or scone.  I zested and juiced two grapefruit, then simmered it in a pan to evaporate it into a gel.  I then creamed butter and sugar into this gel, spices  including salt, and finally flour with baking soda.  E cut hearts in the dough  with a  cookie cutter, and into a hot  oven they went until they started to singe.

The result was fun.  It looked like shortbread, smelled like shortbread, but tasted like, in William’s words, “that tree out there!”  It had a flavour  as intense as  the filling  of  a centre-filled  cookie, only there was no filling.  We kept tasting it (grapefruit!) and then smelling it (shortbread!) repeatedly because it was so bizarre that there was no  visual/olfactory/tactile sign of the extreme grapefruityness therein.  A pleasant surprise to the end of a busy Saturday.

Other recipes we’ve tried:

  • grapefruit, lemon and ???  citrus jam
  • grapefruit juice
  • grapefruit sorbet
  • grapefruit and feta salad
  • citrus pasta (grapefruit zest + grapefruit-based dressing)
  • grapefruit pancakes
  • pumpkin grapefruit and coconut cream soup/pasta (treat grapefruit like tomatoes)

What are your  suggestions  for how to use grapefruit?