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And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon.

So a little while back it was the farmers market in town. Alongside purchasing a nice pie for the Chap I also brought some Quince.

This odd fuzzy fur covered pear like fruit is inedible raw, but I had an idea to make some quince jelly and under guidance from the seller I brought 6 quinces which I was assured would be enough for a small amount of jelly.

They sat ignored in my kitchen for a couple of weeks occasionally catching my eye and making me feel terribly domestic goddess like. This weekend I had had enough guilt and so I made jelly.

It was surprisingly simple!

Quince Jelly


  • Quince

  • Sugar

  • Vanilla essence (optional)

  • Water

Equipment needed:

  • Large pan

  • Masher

  • Bowl

  • Fine mesh sieve

  • Confectioners thermometer

  • Funnel

  • Jars

Start by chopping the flesh from the core. The core is very very hard, to be honest the flesh is not exactly soft either, so use a sharp knife and be prepared for thinking that you are leaving a lot of quince behind.

Pop the piece in to a pan with just enough water to cover the pieces. The quince flesh turns brown really quickly when exposed to air so I popped the pieces in to a pan of water as soon as it was chopped. I don’t think it would affect the flavour or look of the jelly, but I just thought it would be better to do it that way.

When you have all your quince in a pan, bring to the boil and allow to simmer until the quince has started to turn soft and mushy.

I added a lid full (a tiny half teaspoon of vanilla essence at this point to help bring out the quince flavour (which is a little bit roses and honey).

Once the fruit is soft, mash the flesh into pulp and let this boil again to extract all the juice. You are looking to extract the juice shortly, so if the mix is too thick it’s a good idea to add a bit more water at this stage.

Place the fine mesh sieve over a clean bowl and pour the pulp into the sieve. You want the juice to drain through the sieve into the bowl.

NB: you can allow this to happen over hours, you can use cheese clothes, muslins and jam bags and a stool and leave it overnight.

I have no patience and two cats that will stick their paws into anything that might in some way be food like and who would regardless of it being not cat food would knock it over.

So I just gave it a bit of help with the back of a spoon and by shaking it a bit.

Once the juice is out you need to measure how much juice you have. Then sieve it again into the pan (to ensure that you don’t have too many bits in it).

I did not have use for the pulp, so I gave it to the ungrateful birds in the garden.

You need to now add the sugar. I am sure there will be lots of sites that can give you exact measurements, but basically you want about 60/70 grams of sugar for every 100ml of juice.

I had 600ml of juice so I added 400 grams of sugar. This seems a terrifying amount of sugar (to me anyway!). because I was going on the side of less being more I also added two tablespoons of jam sugar (sugar with added pectin) to help the set.

You need to bring this to the boil stirring until the sugar is all dissolved. Insert your thermometer and keep an eye on the temperature.

The juice will start to get a little thicker as it boils and when it gets to around 100 C it will start bubbling and you will see little bit of foam and scum on the surface. Using a metal spoon skim the foam off the top.

NB Apparently, you can add a bit of butter to the jelly and this will prevent the foam issue, but this will make the jelly cloudy. I do not eat diary, so I did not bother with the butter.

Let the jelly boil away stirring occasionally. It is meant to get a bit thicker, but mine did not do so to a noticeable degree. When the temperature of the jelly hits 108 C to 110 C it is done.

NB: I am really bad at the cold plate set test. If you are happy to do that, then it’s a good way of testing the jelly. Personally, I trust science and when the boiling point has got up to 110 C the jelly will set.

Using a funnel, pour the jelly into sterilised jars and pop the lids on whilst it is still hot. Place in the fridge (preferably without burning yourself on the hot hot jars) and let the jelly cool and set.

Enjoy the quince jelly. According to my chap it a bit like eating really good turkish delight and is best on hot buttered toast (other serving suggestions are avaliable).

As you can see I made three 8oz jars worth from 6 quince (the purple jar is spiced low sugar plum jam):



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 21st, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
That looks very tasty :)

Quince is very difficult to find over here...basically you have live where the winters don't get too cold and know someone with a tree...
Oct. 21st, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
you should send me your address (I know I had it but then I was forced on to a mac and things got complicated) and I will send you a jar! x
Oct. 21st, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
Done and Thank you! :)
Oct. 21st, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)

"So a little while back it was the farmers market in town."

I hope you were at least humming that song to yourself.
Oct. 21st, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
of course. I demanded to know where my Morten harket was! but to no avail.
Oct. 21st, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
oh. I have just realized that when I was a child I assumed those were all nonsense words, and they're not at all, are they. Would an English child also know what a runcible spoon was? (I have had to google it just now and discovered it is a fancy word for spork.) What do quinces taste like? (The comparison to Turkish Delight doesn't help me much as I have never had Turkish Delight either. I am feeling very American right now.)
Oct. 21st, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
no they are not, but no you not alone in not realising what they are. I knew what a runcible spoon was, but I was precocious.

you cant eat quinces raw - they are rock hard and really bitter. Cooked they are kinda a bit vanilla with a slight honey flavour and a hint of roses.

you have ever had turkish delight? I feel I shall have to rectify this! (of course you could come here and I could feed you quince jelly)
Oct. 21st, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that runcible was a nonsense word when Lear used it, even if it's been used to apply to a certain kind of spoon since.

Having just installed it myself today I now note you used Instagram for those photos I'm sure ;)
Oct. 21st, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)

It was but by my childhood in the 1980's it meant a curved weird spoon that puts me in mind of the welsh love spoons.

No, not instagram. Hipstermatic and tweaks in Lightroom.

Oct. 22nd, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)

Sorry, should have realised it wouldn't have been a phone camera in your household :)

Oct. 22nd, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
This was a fascinating post to read! I loved it :)
I'd really like to try my hand at making jellies & jams some day.
Oct. 22nd, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)

I have some damson which i think I am going to make into cheeses.

I was surprised at how easy the jelly was - but sooooo much sugar!

Oct. 23rd, 2011 08:45 am (UTC)
I had quince jelly with slices of manchego at my leaving do on Thursday night- NOM is the only word for it...
Oct. 23rd, 2011 09:03 am (UTC)
Ohhh there's an idea for the chap to try
Oct. 24th, 2011 07:11 pm (UTC)
It's how you eat it in authentic 1960s Spanish tapas bars, my mum informs me...
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )