Monday, March 17, 2014

Quince Jelly

I have just discovered quince.  They came in our Harvest of Hope bag last week, and I didn’t have a clue what to do with them.  This recipe comes from my all-time favourite preserving book – “Good, old fashioned Jams, Preserves and Chutneys” by Sara Paston-Williams, National Trust Books, London, 1985.

After making this jelly, I have discovered that quince is a big – but somewhat old fashioned thing in the Cape.  I have heard tales of eating it with salt, grated in salads, in tarts etc etc.  But like loquats, it seems to have lost favour.

I was very pleased with the result.  A beautiful deep pink jelly, with a subtle and distinctive taste.  Will go well with cheese (Cheddar, Stilton or Camembert), meat – lamb, mutton, ham and poultry. Also can be used on scones and muffins or a glaze for fruit flans and cheesecake.

Because of the fact that with jellies, you only use the juice, the yield is much reduced – so what I got from the recipe below was three decent, but fairly small jars. 

If well sealed and stored, it should last for up to a year.


1.4kg (+ -) ripe quinces
Water to cover
Thinly sliced rind of a large lemon (and juice)
White sugar


Wash the quinces and rub off the down on their skins.
Don’t peel or core them, just chop them roughly.  Place in a large saucepan and cover with water.
Add lemon rind and simmer gently for about 1 hour, until the fruit is soft.
Stir in the lemon juice and strain in a jelly bag overnight. (I used a muslin cloth in a colander, standing in a baking dish.  It can’t stand in the juice, so find some way of elevating the colander – if you are improvising like me. It takes a hell of a long time to strain.  Don’t force it, because then the jelly will go cloudy).
Measure the juice and pour into a clean saucepan.
Add warmed sugar.  Allow 450g to each 600ml of juice.
Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved – then bring to the boil and boil rapidly until setting point is reached. 

Pot in sterilized jars and cover (when coolish) with wax paper rounds (wax side down).  Then put a sterilized lid on tightly and store.

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