Quince Jelly

To make quince jam, chop and simmer quinces in crockpot, with or without seeds as desired. Strain the pulp and save for making syrup, simmer the liquid some more if it is too liquid, add sugar and boil until it reaches setting point.

  Quince Jam Recipe

Cutting fruit
1.) Wash fruit, remove stems and chop into pieces.

Remove seeds, label them and save them to trade. Or if the seeds are surrounded by pectin, you can  put them in a small cheesecloth or muslin bag, tie tightly and put in with the fruit while cooking to get the pectin out.

warming tray

2.) Put chopped quince pieces in water with a couple drops of lemon juice (lemon not necessary when using Japonica quince or greenish fruit).

Add or subtract water so that water  covers fruit.

4.) Put  into slow cooker or on very low heat, cover and cook  for 6-12 hours. http://lowmoonglowing.googlepages.com/slowcooker_covered.jpg

5.) Pour cooked fruit into cotton flannel jelly bag or 4 layers of cheesecloth - muslin secured to top of large bowl with clothes pins/pegs. (A clean, boiled pillow case hung from the ceiling will do.)

Drain overnight

Drain for several hours or overnight.

(If you squeeze the bag you will get more jelly/jam; if you don't squeeze you will get a prettier, clear jam. Your call.)

pour sugar into liquid

7.) Pour liquid into a meauring jug, make a note of the amount. Pour sugar into the measuring jug up to about 2/3 of the line where the liquid had been, or about  4 cups quince juice to 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar..

Pour liquid  and sugar into saucepan and stir in.

[Optional. Add lemon juice. Advantage: makes the jelly set easier. Disadvantage: tastes like lemon juice. Again, it's your call. How much? About a teaspoon per liter or quart. Me? I make it without the lemon juice and if it doesn't set, I add lemon juice and boil again, but I almost always have some under-ripe Japonica in the mix so it usually sets without lemon juice. You are less likely to need lemon juice if you are  using Japonica or greenish quince, or if you add apples to the original chopped fruit. ]
9.) Bring to boil and boil for about 5 -15 minutes or until jelly reaches set point. (See below for how to test jelly for set point.)


Pour into clear glass jars to store on shelf, or plastic
containers to store in freezer.

Testing Jelly For Set Point

Frozen plate method
Have a ceramic plate in the freezer.
As jelly boils, put a drop of the liquid on the frozen plate to see if it sets

Temperature Test
Take the temperature of the jelly with a candy or jelly thermometer. It should be 220°F which is 8°F above the boiling point of water at sea level. For each 500 feet of altitude above sea level, subtract 1 degree F.

To Re-Use Pulp
after making first jam

Apple-Quince Jam Recipe:
Add water to cover the pulp and re-cook and strain as for jam. Peel some apples, core and cut pulp into chunks. Put quince liquid and apple pieces into blender, puree. Measure and add about 1/2 that amount of sugar. Put into saucepan and boil for 5 -15 minutes.

Make a syrup:
Add water to cover the pulp and simmer overnight on low heat or in a slow cooker. Strain as for jam. Add its amount in sugar and boil for 10 minutes. Use to sweeten tea or mixed half and half with liquor or wine to make a sweet liqueur.

Make Jell-O or jelly gelatine mold

Take 1 cup of syrup made as per above, add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and then slowly add gelatine mixing continuously. When all gelatin/gelatine has been added and stirred until smooth, pour into a  jello/jelly mold and put in fridge until set. To remove from mold, dip mold quickly into and out of a pan of boiling water and then turn mold over onto a plate.

Make quince honey:
Add water to cover the pulp and re-cook and strain as for jam. Do not squeeze bag. Add sugar 3 times the amount of liquid, bring to a boil and then simmer until the consistency of honey. Quince Honey

Home brew quince soda pop:
Make syrup as above. See Quince Soda Pop for brewing instructions.

Make wine:
Add water to cover the pulp and simmer overnight on low heat or in a slow cooker. Strain as for jam. Add sugar equal in bulk to 1/3 the amount of liquid and bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Add yeast starter and pour into bottles or other container. Cover with an airlock. After a month, pour liquid off the sediment into bottles and cap. Leave for at least another 2 months or until it becomes clear, but a year is better.

  My Jelly Won't Set
What can I do?

Add a commercial pectin and re-boil for 5 -15 minutes.

Add more lemon juice
and re-boil for 5 -15 minutes.

If you are working with  a large quantity of liquid, try using a smaller quantity at a time in a smaller cooking pot, ie, a liter/quart of liquid in a 2-liter/quart saucepan. (Something about temperature, heat dispersal and mass/surface area ratio.)

If all else fails:

Peel a few apples, core and cut out pulp. Add cleaned apple pulp to unset jelly and put through blender. Boil as for jam above. You will lose the crystal-clear jewel-like appearance so prized by quince jelly makers, but you will have a very good but murky-colored quince jam (the quince flavor will overwhelm the apple flavor).

Keep it unset

to use as cooking sauce. Add to apple pie to improve flavor, mix with ketchup for barbecue sauce, be creative. See Things to do with unset jam for more suggestions.

 I only have a few quinces -- can I extend them with apples?

Yes. You can double the amount of quince with apples and have little or no discernable difference in flavor. Use proportionately less sugar. You will also be less likely to need lemon juice or commercial pectin to make it set.

    How can I tell if my quinces are ripe?

Ripeness isn't a major issue with cooking quince. Quince are at their best, for jam-making purposes, when they are slightly under-ripe, when the pectin content is highest. A simple guideline is: when the first quince falls off the tree of its own accord, all the other fruit that have some yellow in them are probably ready to pick. In some cold countries, quince will not ripen (turn completely yellow) at all, but will all fall off the tree while they still have some green in them, and these will still make an excellent jam.

 I can't make jelly right now. Can I store the quinces?

Yes. Put them in the vegetable crisper/bottom drawer of the refrigerator. They should keep 3-4 weeks, but check every few days to remove any that may become rotten.  Or you can wrap them individually in a sheet of newspaper and put them in a cool, dry place where animals can't get at them, such as hanging from the rafters in the garage in the autumn, for as long as it doesn't freeze. Both the strained liquid and the retained quince pulp can be frozen.

  Can I freeze raw quince?

Wash and quarter them, remove seeds and then steam or pressure cook them for about 5 minutes first. They can be peeled after thawing (when it will be easier).

The Solar Food Dryer by Eben Fodor
Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning by the gardeners and farmers of Centre Terre Vivante
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Nancy Bubel

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