quince jelly

 I adore quince. They sound magical and nostalgic, like Christmas goose, sugar plums, and other lovely English things. And they smell so wonderful - like a combination of apple, pear, and pineapple. They can't be eaten raw, but they make a delicious and gorgeous jelly. I made some for the first time last year, and it was the first thing on my list to make this year. I'm feeling quite a bit better, and making the jelly was actually a great thing to do, since I got to stand still in a very steamy kitchen. I was worn out afterward, but quince wait for no man - they needed to be preserved, and quickly!

Here's how it's done:
After delighting in the amazing scent of the quince sitting in your kitchen, wash and quarter them.
Boil, covered by about an inch of water, for an hour or so, until soft.
 Tie up in cheesecloth bags or proper jelly bags, and leave overnight to drip into a bowl. (Edited to add: don't squeeze any juice out, or your jelly will be cloudy!)
 Measure the juice you have, and add in almost a cup of sugar per cup of juice. Just over 3/4 of a cup for each. I mix mine together and let them sit for a few minutes while I do something else, so the sugar will dissolve really well.
Slowly bring to a boil, and boil until it will set on a cold plate. This took quite awhile; at least 45 minutes, and probably more for the 8 cups of juice plus the sugar that I had. I kind of lost track as I was making two things at once. (Edited to add: 1 tsp of butter added in will keep the foaming down. Worked like magic!)

 Seal in sterilized jars, and just be happy looking at it. Isn't it the most gorgeous red?

Add some cute labels, and you're good to go!

With the other quince that I quartered and cooked (I had 12 pounds total), I made a quince paste. I took the cooked quince, ran them through a food mill, mixed with an equal weight of sugar, and cooked it down until it was really thick, and canned it. I can't wait to have this on homemade crackers with some gorgeous local cheese. Or with pork. Yum.


  1. Oh that looks so good! My uncle used to make quince jelly and it was delicious.

  2. Anonymous10/23/2011

    I don't think I've ever had quince anything! But it looks delightful...

  3. Do you just pour the water the quince was cooked in right into the bag with the cooked quince?

  4. Glad you're feeling better! Wish we had quinces to try...maybe I'll check our health-food store and see if they might, on the off chance, have it.

    Keep getting better!

  5. Thanks!
    Paula, yes, the water and quince go in the cheesecloth. I forgot to mention that I let it cool in the pot, first, and I actually stirred in a bit of extra water while it was still warm, as the pulp was quite thick. Good luck!

  6. Anonymous10/24/2011

    My grandmother used to make quince jelly. I loved it. My grandfather had planted the trees with the other apple and pear trees in our orchard in the 30's. Unfortunately, the quince trees are too old to produce now. One just died and the other no longer provides fruit. I love the scent of quince!--just a bowl of them on the kitchen table says Fall to me. Thanks for sharing. linda

  7. I just poured the wax on a batch of Quince Paste, which shares that lovely ruby red color, but has a dense, sliceable texture. The smell while it was simmering away was divine ! I will have to try jelly next... until then, I'm looking forward to sampling the paste with a bit of manchego.

  8. Ah, quince jelly - good for you! We have two prolific quince trees, but apparently they are the ornamental kind. Still, we have a neighbour that picks them and turns them into jelly in exchange for a jar of our own. Haven't tried it yet, but now I'm feeling inspired! Glad to hear you're feeling better.

  9. Anonymous10/24/2011

    So beautiful! Will have to try this. Thank you for sharing the recipes.

  10. Thanks, everyone! Enjoy!

  11. Movita sent me by. I am now a loyal follower and promise not to stalk you too badly. This recipe is amazing. The pics are incredible. So glad she sent me your way.

  12. The design and photography of this post is delightful!

  13. How many pounds of Quince did you use for the jelly? Looks amazing!

  14. I have been trying to make apple jelly for over 10 years now and I can't seem to get my jelly to solidify. Mine always stays runny like juice. I boil my apples in water until soft and then I pour everything into a cheesecloth. I'm wondering if this is what I'm doing wrong. Should I be only scooping out the apples instead of pouring all the liquid with the apples?

  15. Thanks so much, everyone!
    Cecilie, I used about seven pounds to start with. The nice thing about the recipe is that you measure the juice after it's strained, and the amount of sugar is proportionate to that.
    Adria, I've never done apple jelly, but I understand it's very much the same. Are you cooking your apples whole? The pectin is super concentrated in the core and peel, so those parts needs to be cooked. If you're already doing that, it can't hurt to try what you suggested and just scoop out the apples. Your other alternative would be to cook the jelly for a looooooong time to reduce it. And I think certain apples are better than others (higher in pectin) so you might want to check into the kind of apples you're using. Good luck - I hope it works out for you!


Thanks so much for your comments - I read and appreciate each one! Sorry about the word verification - the spammers found me and it became necessary. Thanks for taking the time to comment!