- Quince Jelly
- Quince and apple jelly recipe
- During the 27 years when I lived in Clyde I think I discovered every single Quince tree in the district. It was one of the many pleasures of living in this rugged area that the miners & pioneering orchardists left the fruit of their labours for us to inherit. Each old stone cottage had it’s special story to be told through it’s home garden and their orchard. The miners lettuce, the thyme & the 100 year old trees, apples, quinces, elder, walnuts, japonica apples, almonds (the first to blossom each year) the rose hip now growing wild all over the hills. In places such as Conroy’s Gully, Blackman’s Road, Tinker’s, Dry Bread Road, Miner’s Lane & so many more. Beautiful quince do not keep so well but I try to keep bowls of them around for as long as possible as they just smell so good.
- Quince Jelly Recipe
- Have you tried this? Share your pics on Instagram!
- Quince jam
- Preparing quince jam
- Pairings with quince jam
- Quince jam preservation
- Properties and nutritional benefits
- Spiced Quince Jam
- Easy Membrillo (Sweet Quince Paste)
- Quince Cheese
- “Quince Jelly”
- Membrillo – Quince Jelly
- Quince jelly
- Put the chunks of fruit into a large pot and fill with water (the water should cover the fruit by about 2 inches if you push the fruit down with your hand). Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about an hour, until the fruit is very soft. (This is a great time to curl up with a good book, start binge watching the latest season of The Bachelor, or, you know, whatever it is that you do.)
- Once the fruit is very soft, mash it (in the pot of water) with a potato masher until all the big chunks have been squished. The consistency will be like a very runny applesauce. Run this mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a large bowl or pot. You’ll likely have to do this in several batches. I ladle the mixture into a round-bottomed sieve and then use the bottom of the ladle to sort of smoosh it around the sieve, extracting as much juice as possible. Put the sieved solids in a separate bowl (you may want to run it through the sieve one more time). Continue this until you have sieved all of the mashed fruit mixture, then put the mashed fruit through the sieve a second time using the same method. Once you feel like you’ve gotten all, or at least most of the juice out of the mash, you can discard the mash. (If you don’t have a sieve, you can line a colander with cheese cloth. It’s a little messier, but the process is the same.)
- Rinse out the pot you used to boil the fruit. Measure the juice as you put it back into the pot. You should have about 8 cups of juice. For each cup of juice, add a little less than a cup of sugar. So if you have 8 cups of juice, you will add about 7 cups of sugar. Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat a bit, but keep the liquid at a steady boil.
- Meanwhile, split the vanilla bean with a sharp paring knife and then use the blade of the knife to scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds along with the whole bean to the liquid in the pot.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel 4 or 5 pieces of the lemon peel (using only the yellow part) and add them to the pot along with the juice of the lemon.
- Go back to reading your book or watching your show. Check on the pot and give it a stir every so often. You do need to make sure that it doesn’t boil over, so don’t go too far away.
- After a while, probably about 40 minutes to an hour, the liquid will be reduced and have begun to darken in color. This is when you should start testing for doneness. A good way to do this is to chill a metal tablespoon in the freezer or in a glass of ice water. Using another spoon, add about a teaspoon of the jelly to the chilled spoon and let it sit for a minute or so. You can also use a candy thermometer. I find that 221ºF is the sweet spot for me, but this will vary depending on your altitude (technically, your jelly’s setting point is 8 degrees above the boiling point of water. At an altitude below 1000 feet, water boils at 212º, so your jelly would set when it hits 220º. Since I live very close to sea level, this is just about right, although I always wait just until my thermometer hits 221º for good measure).
- While the jelly mixture is boiling, you can sterilize/heat up your jars. You can either put them in a pot of boiling water fitted with a rack for 10 minutes or put them in a 200ºF oven for 10 minutes. If you’ve already sterilized the jars (say, in the dishwasher), you could just pop them in the microwave to heat them up.
- You’ll also want to sterilize the lids and rings by putting them in a small pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes.
- Once the jelly is done, immediately ladle the hot jelly mixture into the hot jars. You can do this using a wide-mouth funnel and a ladle or you can put the jelly into a sterilized (heat-safe) pitcher and pour it directly into the hot jars. The pitcher method decreases mess and speeds up the process, so if you’ve got a pitcher that works, I highly recommend it. Either way, you want to leave about 5/8 of an inch of head space. Place a lid on top of each jar as soon as it is filled then follow with a metal ring, tightening to “finger tightness.”
- Let the jars sit undisturbed for at least 8 to 10 hours. You will hear popping as the lids seal. If any of the jars don’t seal (you’ll be able to tell by whether the button in the center of the lid is sucked down tight or not), just put them in the fridge and use them up sooner rather than later. The sealed jars can be stored in the pantry indefinitely.
- Firstly, I wash and chop up enough whole quinces to fill my biggest pan, I don’t bother weighing them as I am only interested in the amount of juice I have at the end.
- Pour in enough water to cover and boil until soft, approximately 2 hours.
- Pour the whole mixture into a clean, ironed, pillowcase. I iron on a high heat just before I pour in the mixture.
- Here comes the tricky bit, tie the top of the pillowcase with string and then tie the string to an upturned chair. I place a large bowl or pan, big enough to catch all the drips, underneath and place a cloth over the whole thing to keep the flies off. Leave to drip overnight.
- Measure the amount of fluid you have in the pan next day and add 500g of white granulated sugar for each 600ml of juice.
- Throw in a few lemon scented geranium leaves and the juice of one lemon. Boil until it reaches setting point, I find this by spooning some of the juice onto a cooled plate and looking for the wrinkles on top. Don’t worry if you get the setting point wrong and you find your jellys not set the next day, just pop it back into the pan and boil again.
- Remove the geranium leaves and spoon off any scum on the top. Pour the, now beautiful red coloured, liquid into sterilized jars. I sterilize mine by boiling them for 10mins and then once filled with the hot liquid, screw the lids (also boiled with the jars) on tightly. I then turn the jars upside down and leave for about an hour before turning them upright again.
- All done, just remember the jelly tastes better if you can leave it for a few weeks.
Quince and apple jelly recipe
Remember to put a damp tea towel under your chopping board to stop it from slipping.
1. Place the saucer in the freezer to chill – you will use it later to test the setting point.
2. Wash the quinces to remove the bloom.
3. Cut quinces and apples roughly, without peeling or coring.
4. Place them in large stockpot and pour in cold water until the fruit is just covered.
5. Simmer until the fruit is very tender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
6. Measure the juice into the second pot. Add 1 cup of sugar for each cup of juice.
7. Heat, stirring continually only until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 45 minutes. Carefully remove and discard scum that rises to the surface using the large metal spoon.
8. To test if jelly is ready, remove the small plate from the freezer. Pour a small amount of jelly with the tablespoon onto the plate. Put the plate back in the freezer for about 2 minutes.
9. Remove the plate from the freezer and slide your finger through the jelly. If it appears to wrinkle, and isn’t runny on the plate, it is set.
10. *Very carefully pour the jelly into the heat-proof jug and then into sterilised glass jars, screw the lids on tightly, wipe clean and allow to cool.
* Adult supervision required. To sterilise jars and lids, wash them in hot soapy water, then rinse them in hot water. Place in a stockpot of boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Drain jars upside down on a clean tea towel and dry them thoroughly in a 150°C oven. Remove the jars from the oven and fill while still hot.
I usually do about 1/3 quantity of quince to 2/3 quantity of apple.
Wipe the fluff off the quince & wipe the apples clean. Roughly chop (sometimes you need an axe to cut the quince!) the fruit in 1/2 to 1/4’s & place in a solid bottomed pot with cold water to cover and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer away & enjoy the aroma! Add more water if required.
Cook your fruit in water till tender, strain thru a jelly bag overnight. Measure the liquid back into the pot and reheat. Slowly stir in an equal amount of warmed sugar to the reheated liquid. Bring this back to a rolling boil watching it at all times, stirring with a wooden spoon, test for it’s setting progress on a saucer. Take off the heat & pour into warmed clean jars, cover with the old styled cellophane jam covers.
If you have an abundance of apples you can simply stew them during the year and put a spoonful of this delicious quince jelly on the top of each helping. Delicious!
Quince Jelly Recipe
I haven’t made much jam lately. I was very excited about the process when I was just learning about it some years ago, but I soon realized it was hardly a thrifty pursuit in my case: because I live in the city, I have no need to preserve a hypothetical glut from a garden or orchard, and the price of fresh organic fruit is such that I only buy what we’ll consume in season.
I have occasionally helped my mother prepare batches of jam while on vacation at my parent’s mountain house in the summer, when it is possible to strike good deals on crates of berries or apricots at the greenmarket. Aside from that, my jam-making ambitions have been placed on the back burner.
But then I received a big gift of quinces a few weeks ago, and in addition to the poaching and the cake baking, I was inspired to make quince jelly, one of the most classic uses of the pectin-rich fruit.
In a few months, when the jelly has had time to age a bit, we’ll pop a jar open and spread some on our morning slices of pain au levain, with or without a thin insulation layer of semi-salted butter.
I turned to jam guru Christine Ferber for guidance, and followed the recipe that’s in her comprehensive book Mes Confitures.
Making quince jelly is a two-step endeavor: first, you cook chunks of whole quinces (good news! no need to peel or core them!) in water until soft. You then filter the juice they’ve produced and, after giving it a good night’s rest, you boil it with sugar and lemon juice (the acidity makes it possible for the pectin to gel*) until the jelly is concentrated enough to set.
The amount of sugar you add in the second step depends on the volume of quince juice you get out of the first, and the different recipes I’ve looked at instruct you to add anywhere between 600 grams and 1 kilogram (3 to 5 cups) sugar for each liter (or quart) of juice.
Contrary to what one might intuitively think, this has no effect on how sweet the resulting jelly is: jelly sets on the condition that it’s been brought to a target temperature of 103-105°C (or 217-221°F; at sea level), at which point the sugar concentration is 65%**. If you’ve added less sugar in the first place, your jelly will simply take more time to reach that concentration, because there will be more liquids to boil off, and you’ll end up with a lesser quantity of jelly.
Some like to flavor quince jelly with vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, or other warm spices, and I have no ideological objection to it, but I consulted with Maxence and we agreed we’d rather just enjoy the pure taste of quinces on our toast.
Because this is, naturally, the primary use we intend for the ruby lightbulbs of jelly my efforts yielded: in a few months, when it’s had time to age a bit, we’ll pop a jar open and spread some on our morning slices of pain au levain, with or without a thin insulation layer of semi-salted butter. I’m sure it will fare well on the tender flesh of a split yogurt scone, too, and I look forward to brushing the top of my apple tarts with it for shine, as is traditional.
* As Harold McGee explains on page 297 of his On Food and Cooking, the addition of lemon juice “increases the acidity, wich neutralizes the electrical charge and allows the aloof pectin chains to bond to each other into a gel.” (Don’t you love to imagine those pectin chains acting all aloof and superior?)
** “When we dissolve sugar or salt in water, the boiling point of the solution becomes higher than the boiling point of pure water. This increase in the boiling point depends predictably on the amount of material dissolved: the more dissolved molecules in the water, the higher the boiling point. So the boiling point of a solution is an indicator of the concentration of the dissolved material.” Ibid., pp. 680-681.
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Quince Jelly Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- ripe quinces
- white sugar (not unrefined sugar) (950 grams or 4 3/4 cups for each liter or quart of quince juice)
- lemon(s) (1 for each liter or quart of quince juice)
- Rub the quinces with a dry cloth to remove the fuzz, then rinse and remove what’s left of the blossom (the teeny leaves opposite the stem end). Using a sharp knife, quarter the fruit, check to make sure no worm lives inside, and cut into small chunks without peeling or coring.
- Place the fruit in a large pot, add water just to cover, place the lid on, and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 1 hour, until soft. If you have a pressure cooker, cook the fruit for 25 minutes once the target pressure is reached.
- Pour the fruit and juice through a fine mesh colander into a large bowl, and press the fruit gently to extract as much juice as possible. Set the fruit aside for another use (see note). Clean the colander, line it with moistened cheesecloth (or a moistened dishtowel if unavailable), and filter the juice a second time to remove all the solid particles — this will ensure you have a nicely translucent jelly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, measure the quince juice you’ve obtained and pour it into the cleaned pot. For each 1 liter (1 quart) of juice, add the juice of 1 lemon and 950 grams (4 3/4 cups) sugar. (You should get 1 liter of juice from about 1.8 kilos or 4 pounds quinces.)
- Set the pot over medium-high heat and stir regularly until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook, skimming the foam that collects at the surface, until a cooking thermometer reads 103-105°C (217-221°F) — this took about 10 minutes for me.
- If you don’t have a thermometer, place a saucer in the freezer as the jelly cooks. To check whether the jelly is set, pour a drop of jelly onto the very cold saucer, wait a few seconds, then tilt the saucer: if the drop slides along the saucer, the jelly needs more cooking. If it stays put, it’s ready.
- While the jelly is cooking, sterilize the jars and lids — I submerge them in boiling water for 10 minutes, but you can also run them in the dishwasher or the oven. (See for comprehensive info on safe canning.)
- Pour the very hot jelly into the very hot jars using a small ladle. Wipe off the rims and any spillage with a clean, damp cloth. Close the jars tightly and let cool without disturbing. Label and put away in a cool, dark place until ready to eat. Give them a few months if possible; the flavor improves with time.
- Process the cooked fruit through a food mill to get rid of the pits, skin, and woody bits. The filtered pulp can be sweetened, spiced, and eaten as a compote, or sweetened and cooked again to make quince paste (a.k.a. membrillo).
- Adapted from Christine Ferber’s Mes Confitures.
3.1 https://cnz.to/recipes/jams-nut-butters/quince-jelly-recipe/ Unless otherwise noted, all recipes are copyright Clotilde Dusoulier.
Very fragrant and sweet, quince jam is a simple and delicious preparation, which can be used both in sweet and savory dishes. Not just delicious but healthy too: quinces have many benefits and they are a low-calories food.
How to prepare quince jam? Which are the best pairings and the best recipes you can try at home? Let’s discover how to cook with quince jam and all the curiosities about this preparation.
Let’s start from the main ingredient: quinces, a curious and often forgotten fruit, with its irregular shape and a sweet smell. The feature of this apple is its taste while raw: extremely tart and not very palatable, the taste changes if you cook and add sugar to them.
For a long time, these fruits – comparable to a bizarre cross-breed between an apple and a pear – have not been eaten, they were used for other purpose instead, e.g. as wardrobe freshener. Just after a long time some peasant families from the northern Italy started to use quinces in cooking, beginning a long tradition of jams and preserves, among which quince jelly has a special place, it is actually a very peculiar jam with a solid consistency, usually served as a dessert, just as it is.
Quince jam ingredients
What do you need to prepare a good quince jam? Fruit, of course, 1 kg quinces, 400 g. sugar and lemon juice. This is the traditional recipe for a delicious homemade quince jam, without any preservative or thickener. Quince skin is rich in pectin, a soluble dietary fibre, that’s why people use to add a piece of quince while preparing other jams.
Preparing quince jam
Which is the traditional recipe for quince jam? How to prepare quince jam at home in 40 minutes.
- First of all, wash the quinces, and rub off any fur which normally protects the fruit on the tree. Meanwhile, use a bowl to prepare a mixture of water and the juice of one lemon.
- Cut the quinces in halves, removing the core; keep the skin, which contains pectin. Once they are cut, dip them in the mixture of water and lemon, to avoid the oxidation process.
- Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil, dip the quinces chunks and let them cook until they are soft. Normally it will take 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain the quinces, mash them with a potato masher or a similar tool. Add lemon juice and sugar to this mixture: 400 g. sugar per quince kilo. Put on a low flame until the jam will reach the consistence you desire, stir often to avoid the preparation from sticking to the pan or from burning.
- Now quince jam is ready to be potted. Always remember to previously sterilize your jars, allowing them to preserve the preparation for a longer time. When you fill the jars, remember to allow at least 1-centimeter headspace between the underside of the lid and the top of the product.
Pairings with quince jam
Despite what we might think, quince jam doesn’t match only with desserts, it goes perfectly with savoury dishes too. How to use quince jam in cooking? Here for you our suggestions to try some unknown tastes which will surprise your palate.
Pairing with cheeses
Quince jam matches perfectly with marbled cheeses with a strong and aromatic taste such as Roquefort: a classic pairing for a cheese board to share with friends. Not only mature cheeses, but fresh ones too match surprisingly well with quince jam. Do you want a suggestion for an appetizer? Bruschette with quince jam and fresh goat’s cheese. Very easy to prepare and really delicious, perfect whit a good white wine such as Verduzzo.
Pairing with meats
Try also the pairing with white meats: quince jam will give a sweet touch to your chicken or turkey, a new and more creative version of the traditional dishes. When you’ll prepare your chicken, you can use quince jam while cooking, or you can serve a small portion as accompaniment to the dish, just like any other sauce.
Cakes and desserts with quince jam
There are many ideas to prepare cakes, biscuits and tarts with a sweet quince jam filling. Tarts, so simple and genuine, really delight everyone. A recipe to be presented in its perfect winter or autumn version is the one for the tart with quince jam, pine nuts, raisins, chocolate, ginger and cinnamon: very fragrant and spicy, perfect when you heat it up during the coldest nights, with a good cup of tisane or hot chocolate.
Preparing some homemade biscuits filled with quince jam may be another good idea for an original dessert: a typical dessert for those regions in Southern Italy, where people use to prepare some sort of pastry pockets, fragrant and filled with jam. Those who love spicy tastes, could also taste the version with cinnamon.
One last suggestion: the sbrisolona cake with almonds and filled with quince jam: a simple cake, but always delicious, where fruit enrich its taste.
Quince jam preservation
When you prepare a homemade jam, it is essential to sterilize the jars in order to properly preserve the preparation, which will keep its taste and its properties for 12 months. It is important to preserve the jars in a fresh and dry place. Once you open the jar, keep it refrigerated and eat the jam within 3 or 4 days.
Properties and nutritional benefits
Quinces have a lot of health benefits, and traditionally the have been often used to cure some diseases. Their juice was used to treat intestinal disorders, and to obtain a relaxing effect in case of excessive tiredness.
What about quince jam? As concerned its nutritional values, this is rich in fibre and high in sugar, but naturally low in fat. Compared to other jams, quince jam is lower in calories: about 60 calories every 50 grams.
Spiced Quince Jam
- To make the quince juice, wash & wipe off fuzz from quinces, cut off stem & anything remaining at blossom end and cut into eighths. Do not discard the cores or the seeds as they contain a lot of natural pectin. Place in a large pan and cover with water so the pieces float. Bring to a boil and stir. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally (2 hours will do the trick, but I like to let it simmer for 3, so the fruit is very soft).
- Using a fine sieve, strain the “juice” from the pulp. The “juice” can vary from an actual juice to a thin puree – it depends on if the fruit breaks down or not. Press on the fruit with the back of a large spoon to extract all the juice.If some of the pulp squeezes through the sieve and into the juice that’s fine. If you get more than the 6 cups needed for this recipe you can freeze it to use later.
- Place two or three small saucers in the freezer. You will use these later to check the set of the jam.
- In a preserving pan, combine the 6 cups quince juice, juice and zest of the orange and the lemon, spices, & sugar. If you don’t have a preserving pan, use the widest pan you have. The wider the pan, the more quickly moisture will evaporate from the mixture, and this is what you want when making jelly or jam.
- Bring to a boil and continue cooking on medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, stirring gently. Check the set – it may take up to 40 minutes of simmering over medium high heat for the jelly/jam to reach the set stage – use the cold plate test to check set: take the pot of jam off the heat (if you don’t remove the jam from the heat while you check the set, it could over-cook and become rubbery or hard, if the jam is indeed already set) place a drop of the jam mixture on one of the saucers you’ve kept in the freezer, & place the plate back in the freezer for 1 minute. After 1 minute, take the saucer out of the freezer and nudge the drop of jam with your finger. If it “wrinkles” when you nudge it with your finger it is done. If the jam is not set, continue cooking over medium-high heat, checking the set again every 5 minutes.
- Once the set point is reached, put the jam into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace; place flat lids and rings on and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
This recipe is my grand-mother’s, Mam. It is a two in one recipe. Once you have put your hands on quinces, you will be able with the same quinces and sugar, to make a batch of Quince jelly or jam and a batch of quince paste under the form of a paste to serve with a cheese platter or under the shape of quince cubes, lovely with coffee, snack, kids’ lunch boxes.
Mam started to cook late in life with no knowledge to start with. She was lucky enough to have been raised with help and had a cook at home for years. But at one stage, when the kids were gone, she didn’t and she has to cook for herself and my grand-father.
Strangely enough, she got the instant knack of it! What she cooks is always extraordinary. And when you ask her: “Wow! How did you make that?” She invariably answers: “I don’t know, it’s simple, I just whizzed it up.” She is incapable of explaining what she did. It’s crazy!
So the only way to copy one of her treasure recipes is to stay behind her shoulder and keep track of what is going on, asking question while it’s happening. You will see, this recipe has no precise quantities, as usual with Mam. Don’t worry, it will be extraordinary. Just trust the indications she gave me.
It all starts with picking or buying and choosing the best fruits. They have to be ripe (a good yellow, no green). The smell is a good indication too! They have this subtle but delicious fragrance. Take the ones smelling the strongest. Don’t let them wait too long in your fruit bowl (as I always do…) But don’t worry too much if you do. You will still make a delicious jam.
Mam’s technique is to simply rinse them under running water, don’t rub them or extensively wash them.
Then she cuts them in 4 pieces aiming at cutting through the “heart” of each quince to get to the seeds. They are the ones which contain the pectin, a jellying agent. Cutting through them, releasing them. It will cut them too and all these seeds will be releasing their jelly magic in the juice.
Tip the cut quinces in a large pot and cover them with water. Yes I know. It doesn’t matter how many quinces you use or how much water precisely. What matters is that you just cut them in four and cover the lot with water. They can float so just press them down with your hand to check the water level.
You will bring the quinces to the boil in the covered pot and leave it to simmer for 40 mins.
The simply tip the quinces in a colander over a large bowl and let it drip while you get your scale and some sugar. This is so typical… I couldn’t find any sugar! And in this recipe you need to weigh the juice that comes out. Pressing a little on the quinces (with your hands if they have cooled or a ladle if hot). Do not press too much, you don’t want to get white stuff in your pretty juice.
The best sugar mix to use here is pectin enriched sugar (in supermarket), caster sugar and a bit of raw sugar or crushed sugar canes to give it a bit of a caramelly taste.
Weigh you juice. Weigh the same amount of sugar.
Bring them to the boil for the time indicated on the pectin sugar packet. If you are not using it, just boil for 20 mins. The secret is to keep a plate in the freezer. After 10 mins of boiling let a drop of quince syrup fall on the icy cold plate. If it looks jellied, then you can stop. If not, keep on testing your syrup until jellied.
You can also add extra pectin and boil the syrup for a lot less. Chose your weapon and go for it.
Pour the boiling syrup in the clean jam jars. It is important to do this when the syrup is boiling. It will keep you jam impeccable (no mould) for ages. To do that with no mess at all, I cannot recommend enough the special jam funnel 🙂 One of my favourite accessories in the kitchen. You can find one in the US HERE or in France HERE.
Once each jar is filled with the jam, screw the clean cap on very tight and turn it upside down. It will create a vacuum which will protect your jam from mould. Leave them to cool down on a tea towel overnight. Don’t move them. Let the jelly set.
For this batch, I used 4 massive quinces, it yielded 1 litre of juice. I used 1 kilo of sugar (500g of pectin sugar, 400g of caster sugar and a bit, 100g of crushed and powdered sugar cane)
The jelly should be set after a night and look like a beautiful gem. It is delicious with French salted butter or Blue Lurpak Danish butter.
You can keep it in your pantry for months and once open, you can keep it for a few weeks in the fridge.
Wait! It is not finished! As I said to start this article, this recipe is a two in one. Don’t chuck the quince quarters! You will now puree them to make a wonderful quince paste. But note that by the time you will have finished pureeing and cooking the puree with sugar, you will have to stay another hour in the kitchen. If you do not have time, don’t worry, freeze your quince purée or refrigerate it overnight (max) with a plastic film in full contact with its surface.
Find the Quince paste or Quince cubes recipe on THIS PAGE. Try it, it’s delicious and keeps for a long time (well if you leave some…).
5.0 from 1 reviews Quince Jelly or Quince Jam Prep time 5 mins Cook time 45 mins Total time 50 mins Buy a few quinces and make this tasty and fragrant quince jelly you will spread on you buttered toast. It is easy and a great gift for your friends. Author: The Flo Show Recipe type: Preserves Cuisine: French Serves: 5 jars Ingredients
- Quinces, the number you want, I used 4 big ones
- Caster sugar (depending on the juice the quinces will yield). You can also use 50/50 caster sugar and pectin enriched sugar (guarantee for a nicely set jelly). Or my favourite : 50% pectin enriched sugar, 40% caster sugar, 10% cane sugar. Or any combination really. And of course, you can use 100% caster sugar with a packet of pectin. for jams.
- Half a lemon juiced
- Rinse quickly your quinces under running water.
- Cut them in 4.
- Place them in a large pot (with lid).
- Pour water until you cover them.
- Bring to the boil. Then simmer for 40 mins.
- Tip the quinces in a fine sieve (using a cheese cloth if you want a crystal clear jelly which I don’t) over a large bowl.
- Press a little on the quinces (with your hands if they have cooled or a ladle if hot). Do not press too much, you don’t want to get white stuff in your pretty juice.
- Weigh the juice.
- Weigh the same weight in sugar (any mix you want – see ingredients)
- Boil juice, sugar and lemon juice for 45 mins if you put only caster sugar or caster and a bit of cane. Follow the packet instruction if you used pectin enriched sugar.
- If foam appears on top scoop it out with a straining ladle.
- A trick to check if the jelly is set, while you are boiling the syrup, keep a plate in the fridge or even the freezer. After 40 mins, let a drop of syrup fall on the cold plate. If it sets, you’re good to go 🙂
- Pour the boiling syrup in the clean jam jars. It is important to do this when the syrup is boiling. It will keep you jam impeccable (no mould) for ages. To do that with no mess at all, I cannot recommend enough the special jam funnel. I give the link in the article above.
- Once each jar is filled with the jam, screw the clean cap on very tight and turn it upside down. It will create a vacuum which will protect your jam from mould. Leave them to cool down on a tea towel overnight. Don’t move them. Let the jelly set.
- Don’t forget not to discard the boiled quinces and follow the next recipe to make Quince Cubes (paste).
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Popular throughout many countries, membrillo (aka, quince paste or quince cheese) is incredibly versatile and one of the most delicious confections you’ve ever tasted!
The quince fruit has been prized since ancient times and up until around the early 19th century was still found in the garden of many homes. As long ago as 1922, the great New York pomologist U. P. Hedrick rued that “the quince, the ‘golden apple’ of the ancients, once dedicated to deities, and looked upon as the emblem of love and happiness, for centuries the favorite pome, is now neglected and the least esteemed of commonly cultivated tree-fruits.”
Though highly revered for so long, it has sadly fallen out of favor to the point where few people have even heard of it let alone tasted one. How that happened I can’t imagine because it is one of the most under-appreciated and spectacular fruits out there.
Though it is in the same family as apples and pears, the quince is practically inedible raw, no matter how ripe, and has to be cooked. And though it is considered less versatile than apples and pears, and is challenging to find anymore, it has such an incredible and unique flavor it is worth every effort to find it.
Some grocery stores carry it during the Christmas season but you’ll likely need to ask the produce manager to order some for you. My solution was to plant a quince tree a couple of years ago and eagerly look forward to the first fruits next year!
Today we’re making what is probably the most famous application of the quince besides quince jelly: Membrillo.
What Is Membrillo?
Membrillo is a sweet, thick, sliceable firm paste made from quince that originated in Spain and is especially popular during the Christmas holidays. It is now a popular confection in many countries. It’s also known as Dulce de membrillo (Spain, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay), marmelada (Portugal, Brazil), pâte de coing (France), Quittenkäse (Germany), birsalmasajt (Hungary), and quince cheese (New England) or quince paste (UK, Canada, Australia), to name a few.
The quince has been a highly revered fruit since ancient times and this recipe is thought to have Roman origins as early as the 4th or 5th century AD and used honey instead of sugar.
Quince paste is usually sold in squares and is served by cutting it into thin slices to accompany cheese (in Spain, membrillo and manchego cheese are inseparable), served on crackers, spread on toast or sandwiches, served with breakfast, eaten plain as a sweet confection (and commonly rolled in sugar), served with meats, and is also used to stuff pastries and spread in cakes.
I’ll never forget the first time I tried membrillo. It was also the first time I had ever tried quince. Oh, the aroma and the flavor! It’s among the most unique and wonderful smells and flavors I’ve encountered. It’s hard to describe. It’s not anything like apple or pear. The best word I can think of to describe the flavor is sweetly floral. It has a highly aromatic, floral flavor, almost like it’s made with essential oils of wild English roses. After having tasted quince, I now understand why quince in ancient times was considered a fruit of the gods. It is divine.
Making membrillo is extremely easy. Many recipes call for cooking the quinces whole, then straining the water, then peeling and coring them, then weighing the pulp and then simmering it with sugar. None of that extra fuss is remotely necessary.
First of all, the quince flesh itself is so high in pectin that simmering it with the peels and seeds is unnecessary. Not only that, leaving the skins on will result in a membrillo that is slightly browner in color. Just peel and core your quinces from the start and throw the diced quince directly into the pot with the sugar and water. Secondly, there is no need to strain the water and then weigh the pulp. Simply weigh the peeled, cored quince at the start and add it to the pot with the sugar and a little water. Stew the quince and then simply puree the mixture and let it set. That’s it. The result will be a firm membrillo with a perfectly sliceable consistency and heavenly flavor!
Membrillo keeps for a long time, which is a big plus. Like jam, the sugar acts as a preservative and it will keep in the fridge for at least 3 months. In many areas of the world it’s kept at room temperature for the same length of time.
It also freezes well for even longer storage.
Membrillo is wonderfully versatile and also makes an excellent and unique gift for friends and family who appreciate good food!
Let’s get started!
Select ripe, fragrant quinces.
Wash and remove any of the fuzz from them. Peel and core the quinces and dice into 3/4 inch pieces.
They will turn brown quickly, that is perfectly okay.
Place the diced quince in a medium pot over medium heat along with the sugar, lemon juice and water.
Bring the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally to melt the sugar.
Continue to simmer over medium heat for an hour or so, stirring occasionally.
During this time the quince will progressively turn into a beautiful ruby red color.
Simmer until a candy or instant-read thermometer reads 220 degrees F. This doesn’t always guaranteed it’s ready, so at this point also do a plate test to make sure the mixture is done: Spoon a little of the liquid onto a cold plate and wait a couple of minutes. Push the liquid with your finger and if it wrinkles it is ready. If it doesn’t, continue to simmer and re-test.
Grease a 8×8 inch glass baking dish.
Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or blend in a Vitamix or similar until smooth.
I find the immersion blender is adequate but if you want the mixture even smoother, transfer it to a Vitamix (or similar).
Pour the hot mixture into the greased baking dish.
Use the back of a spoon to smooth the top. Let it cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24-48 hours until firm. Invert the membrillo / quince paste onto a platter (you may need to gently pry it out with a knife).
Note: Some recipes call for placing the membrillo in an oven at low temp (125 degrees F) for 8+ hours to firm it up. This membrillo is already firm and perfectly sliceable. If you prefer it even firmer, proceed with dehydrating it.
Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 months or longer.
For longer storage membrillo can be frozen well-wrapped for up to a year.
Serve with your cheese & charcuterie board. Traditionally served with manchego but pairs beautifully with most aged, hard cheeses.
Alternatively, you can also cut the membrillo into small squares and dehydrate them at low temp for a while in the oven to firm them up, then roll them in sugar as a sweet confection.
5 from 18 votes
Easy Membrillo (Sweet Quince Paste)
Quince paste is delicious versatile and is excellent served with cheese, on crackers, spread on toast or sandwiches, served with breakfast, eaten plain as a sweet confection (and commonly rolled in sugar), served with meats, and is also used to stuff pastries and spread in cakes. Prep Time15 mins Cook Time1 hr Total Time1 hr 15 mins Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack Cuisine: Spanish, Various Author: Kimberly Killebrew
- 2.25 pounds quince , washed (remove any of the fuzz), peeled, cored and diced in 3/4 inch chunks (total weight is *after* peeling/coring) (if quince is unavailable, ask the produce manager if they can order it)
- 3 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- Place all the ingredients in a medium pot over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, once the sugar has melted and the mixture begins to bubble, simmer for an hour or so, stirring occasionally, until the candy thermometer reads 220 degrees F. This doesn’t always guaranteed it’s ready, so at this point also do a plate test to make sure the mixture is done: Spoon a little of the liquid onto a cold plate and wait a couple of minutes. Push the liquid with your finger and if it wrinkles it is ready. If it doesn’t, continue to simmer and re-test. The quince will increasingly change into a deep ruby red color.
- Grease a 8×8 inch glass baking dish. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or blend in a Vitamix or similar until smooth. Pour the hot mixture into the greased baking dish and smooth the top. Let it cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24-48 hours until firm. Invert the membrillo / quince paste onto a platter (you may need to gently pry it out with a knife). Note: Some recipes call for placing the membrillo in an oven at low temp (125 degrees F) for 8+ hours to firm it up. This membrillo is already firm and perfectly sliceable. If you prefer it even firmer, proceed with dehydrating it.
Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 months or longer. For longer storage membrillo can be frozen well-wrapped for up to a year.
- Makes one 8×8 inch square of quince paste. Serve with your cheese & charcuterie board. Traditionally served with manchego but pairs beautifully with most aged, hard cheeses.
*Alternatively, if you’d like to make a sweet confection to enjoy as candy, you can also cut the membrillo into small squares and dehydrate them at 125 degrees F for several hours until firm and then roll the squares in sugar. 784shares
Wash the quince. Roughly chop the fruit but don’t peel or core them. Place in a large pan and barely cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until soft and pulpy, adding a little more water if necessary. Leave to stand for several hours.
Rub the contents of the pan through a sieve or pass through a mouli. Weigh the pulp and return it to the cleaned-out pan, adding an equal weight of sugar. Bring gently to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer gently, stirring frequently, for an hour and a bit until really thick and glossy. It may bubble and spit like a volcano, so do take care. The mixture is ready when it is so thick that you can scrape a spoon through it and see the base of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture oozes together again.
If you’re using small dishes or straight-sided jars, brush them with a little glycerine. This will make it easy to turn out the cheese. If you’re using a shallow baking tray or similar, line it with greaseproof paper, allowing plenty of overhang to wrap the finished cheese.
When the cheese is cooked, pour it into the prepared moulds or jars. To seal open moulds, pour melted food-grade paraffin wax over the hot fruit cheese. Jars can be sealed with lids. Cheese set in a shallow tray should be covered with greaseproof paper and kept in the fridge.
For optimum flavour, allow the quince cheese to mature for 4–6 weeks before using. Eat within 12 months.
Do you know what a quince is? Have you ever tasted one? If you have, it was likely in a cooked form, quinces aren’t tasty raw.
They are one of my favorite fruits. They become nice and pink when you cook them, a soothing glamorous pink. See these recipes to know what I mean.
They start off green with a hint of yellow. Hard as a rock. And a strange fuzz on them. It’s the pectin that turns them pink. And lots of heat.
My dad grows them at Tulipwood and every year around this time we have a nice supply of them. For a few years we had a fire blight, but it seems that we’ve finally conquered it and have a lot of fruit to show for it.
My great grandmother used to make quince jelly. My dad and I have been talking about it a lot lately because hers was very light pink and ours always comes out dark pink, almost maroon.
We’ve been experimenting a bunch and this is what we’ve learned:
1. Don’t cook the fruit for longer than 1 1/2 hours, or else you’ll destroy the pectin. You just want to cook it until soft.
2. If you want to get away with adding less sugar, then you’ll have to add pectin. That’s the only way it will gel otherwise. We’re pretty sure that’s what my great grandmother did because she didn’t like sugar much. Otherwise the ratio of sugar to liquid will have to stay the same.
To make quince jelly you cut it into chunks and drop it in a pot. You don’t have to peel it or take the core out, but I happened to peel it this time as an experiment. Peels will help create more pectin.
Cover the pot and let it cook and stew down.
It will turn to mush like this, at which point you’ll pass it through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
Then you’ll transfer that liquid to a smaller pot and let it simmer.
And once you get the temperature to 220 degrees F at sea level, you’ll turn off the heat.
Transfer the liquid to sterilized glass jars (you can sterilize them by running them through a dishwasher or boiling them in a hot water bath).
Then screw on the lids and let them come to room temperature. The liquid will set over the next 24 hours.
Mine isn’t as light as my great grandmothers because I didn’t use pectin, which means I had to get it hotter which made it pinker.
But it isn’t as dark as some of the batches we’ve done in previous years which were too runny… as Goldilocks would say, it’s juuuuuust right.
Here’s the recipe for when you get your hands on some quinces! A lot of grocery stores have them right now and they’re delicious in holiday desserts.
Prep Time15 mins Cook Time1 hr 15 mins Total Time1 hr 30 mins
- Ripe quinces
- White sugar
- Quarter your quinces, removing any wormy looking bits. You can leave the peel and core in tact.
- Place them in a large pot and add water just to cover.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until soft, about 1 hour. Be sure not to cook more than 1 1/2 hours, or you will destroy the pectin and it won’t gel.
- Pour the fruit and juice through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
- Set the fruit pulp aside.You can run it through a food mill if you’d like and make quince paste, quince butter, or serve it on toast.
- Pass the liquid through the fine mesh strainer again, lined with cheesecloth, into a bowl.
- Measure the liquid into a sauce pot. For each 1 liter (1 quart) of juice, add the juice of 1 lemon and 950 grams (4 3/4 cups) sugar. (You should get 1 liter of juice from about 1.8 kilos or 4 pounds quinces.)
- If you prefer to use less sugar, then you will need to use pectin according to package instructions.
- Cook the liquid rapidly at high heat skimming off scum until it reaches 220 degrees F at sea level. Don’t go over 220 or it gets clumpy. Also be sure not leave it unattended because it will rapidly boil over.
- Transfer it to sterilized jars and in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Membrillo – Quince Jelly
1 Wash and core the quinces and then chop into 3-cm pieces. You should end up with about 2 kg
of prepared fruit. Put in a large heavy-based pan with the sugar and place over a medium to high
heat. Stir the fruit from time to time so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Quinces are quite hard and unlike other fruits such as strawberries, peaches or oranges, don’t soften or release any liquid as quickly.
2 After about 15 minutes you will see the quince start to caramelize – at this point reduce the heat
to low. Continue to cook at this low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours. After half an hour the
quince will start to soften; after another hour it will become more like a paste. It should be dark
brown in colour and have reduced to a quarter of the original amount. Add the lemon juice and
water and cook for a further 10 minutes.
3 Your jelly is now ready. Pour into clean, sterilized jars; if properly sealed you will be able to keep for
at least a year. Alternatively, you can pour into a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Once it
has cooled and set firm you can turn out and slice into squares.
You can also make a softer, more spreadable paste, instead of this firm jelly. Simply add 2 glasses of
water to the paste along with the lemon juice and purée with a hand blender until smooth. Continue
to cook for another 5–10 minutes and then pour into sterilized jars as before.
Membrillo goes very well with cheese – in particular our famous Spanish Manchego cheese. I also like to eat membrillo with fresh cottage cheese and olive oil and often use it in cheesecakes too.
Remove the external fur from the quinces by rubbing them with a dry, clean tea towel.
Pour the water into a large, deep pot.
Thinly slice the peel of one of the lemons and add the peel to the water.
Squeeze the lemons to obtain approximately half a standard glass of lemon juice.
Add the lemon juice to the water.
Top and tail the quinces. Remove any bruised or damaged parts of the fruit. Don’t core the fruit or remove the seeds — they actually adds to the flavour and help with the colour.
Cut the quinces into cubes and add to the pot containing the water and lemon juice.
Place the pot on high heat and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down and allow the fruit to simmer for approximately 1.5 hours, with the lid on. Stir occasionally but replace the lid when finished stirring.
Remove the lid after the 1.5 hours and simmer for 15 minutes or so until the fruit and extracted juice is a rich, rosy pink.
Strain the fruit and juice from the cooking pot into a second pot, using a colander lined with a muslin cloth.
Allow the fruit and juice to drip through the muslin at least overnight, but preferably for 24 hours.
Remove the muslin cloth and discard the fruit. Do not squeeze the cloth to extract more juice as this will cause the jelly to become cloudy.
Measure the juice back into the original cooking pot.
For each 500ml of juice measure 500g of sugar into metal trays.
Warm the sugar in the oven.
Place the pot with the measured juice on to high heat.
As the juice nears boiling point gradually add the sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Stirring until completely dissolved increases the clarity of the jelly, or so they say.
Progressively remove any scum off the top while the jelly continues to boil. This helps to make a clearer jelly and removes any debris. Boil for approximately 20 – 30 mins.
Test if the jelly has reached setting point by using a jam thermometer. If you don’t have a jam thermometer, add a small spoonful of the mixture to the centre of a clean dry saucer. Let this cool slightly, then tip saucer to one side. If the jelly doesn’t run out of the centre of the saucer and ripples appear on the surface of the jelly, the setting point has been reached. If this does not occur, keep boiling and re-test in another 5 minutes or so.
When setting point has been reached, remove the jelly from the heat and carefully pour into warmed sterilised jars.
Cover the filled jars with a clean cloth and allow them to cool totally before placing sterilised lids onto jars.
Label jars with the month and year made.