Canning, Pickling, How To

Easy Quince Jam

Nicoletta November 14, 2019

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Easy Quince Jam.  A smooth and delicious jam made of quince, sugar, and lemon juice. A Fall treat that you can enjoy every time of the year in a jam form, to spread on toast, on your crostata, or as an accompaniment to your cheese board. 

Song of the day: Long Way Home – Norah Jones

Quince is the sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae which also contains apples and pears, among other fruits (Wiki). This Autumn apple has a hard and somewhat fuzzy skin and an uninviting appearance, however, when cooked, they are excellent for jams, jellies, and mustards. 

 

 

Quince

Quince is harvested in October when it’s ripe and has a characteristic intense yellow color and a beautiful smell. It is a very delicate fruit that spoils really easily. If kept in a cool, dark and dry place, though, quince can be kept for several weeks. Quince is rich in pectin and therefore ideal for the preparation of jams and jellies.

Family Memories

For a long time, these fruits that resemble a strange cross between an apple and a pear were not eaten but were intended for other purposes. In many houses, as well as mine in Italy, they were used for their fragrance to perfume wardrobes and drawers. It was a long time before the peasant families tried to use quince in the kitchen, giving life to a long tradition of jams and preserves.

My father, the jam master in our house in Italy, has been making Quince Jam for many years and as a matter of fact, while I was in my kitchen in Canada making my quince jam, he was also in his kitchen doing the same, making Marmellata di Mele Cotogne. This is his recipe, the only thing I changed, I reduced the amount of sugar. He adds 700 g of sugar per kilo of quince purée.

How to Make Quince Jam
  • Thoroughly wash the quince under cold running water and scrub well to remove all the fuzz. Don’t peel them. The skin of the quince is a source of pectin, a natural thickener that facilitates the gelling of jam. 
  • Cut them in slices using a sharp knife because their skin is very hard. Quince pulp blackens quickly, so as you peel them, place them in a big bowl with water and lemon juice to slow down the oxidation process. 
  • Next, boil the sliced quince in just enough water to cover them. 
  • Remove the now soft pieces of quince from the water and pass them through a food mill or potato ricer to obtain a puree.
  • The hard parts will stay in the food mill and you will be left with a smooth quince purée.
  • Once you have the quince purée, weigh it and calculate 500 g of sugar per kilo of purée obtained.
  • Transfer the purée to a dutch oven or a pot with a heavy bottom. Add sugar and lemon juice.
  • Cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, or until the jam reaches the desired density. During cooking, remember to stir the jam often with a spatula or a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  • Ladle or funnel the hot quince jam into sterilized hot jars,  leaving 1 cm from the edge. Wipe the rim, and seal tight with the lids.
Quince Jam 

Once cooked, quinces release an intense sweetness and a delightful honey and vanilla fragrance with a backdrop of citrus which makes it very intriguing. Quince Jam has a lovely texture, kind of like a thickened applesauce. The color has a rich golden hue that will be able to brighten the gloomiest of winter days.

The properties of Quince Jam

Quince Jam is rich in fiber. It mainly supplies simple carbohydrates while fats and proteins are not present in relevant quantities. Cholesterol is absent. Compared to other jams, Quince Jam is generally less caloric. Furthermore, this jam is suitable -more than any other jam- for those suffering from constipation. Moreover, it has a relaxing effect great for combating stress. 

Quince Jam is perfect to:
  • accompany cheeses, both aged, or fresh;
  • pair with chicken, turkey, or pork either during cooking, or as a sauce to accompany the dish;
  • fill cakes, cookies, and tarts.

If you’re at your local Farmers Market and your eyes are captured by these interesting looking fruit, grab a basket and try this jam.

Song of the day: Long Way Home – Norah Jones

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Easy Quince Jam-quince jam on bread

Easy Quince Jam

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 small jars 1x
  • Category: Jams
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Easy Quince Jam.  A smooth and delicious jam made of quince, sugar, and lemon juice. A Fall treat that you can enjoy every time of the year in a jam form, to spread on toast, on your crostata, or as an accompaniment to your cheese board.


Ingredients

  • 6 quince, 1170 g, washed, scrubbed, cored, and sliced, made 760 g of pulp
  • 380 g sugar
  • 2 lemons, the juice, divided (one for the acidulated water, one for the jam)

Instructions

  1. Wash jars in hot, soapy water, and rinse well. Then place the jars and lids on a baking sheet in the oven at 200° F to dry. Leave them in the oven until you need them.
  2. Thoroughly wash the quince under cold running water and scrub well to remove all the fuzz. Don’t peel them. The skin of quince is a source of pectin, a natural thickener that facilitates the gelling of jam.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a big bowl with a mixture of water and lemon juice.
  4. Cut the quinces in half, core them, and cut them in slices using a sharp knife because their skin is very hard. Quince pulp blackens quickly, so as you peel them, place them in the prepared bowl with water and lemon juice to slow down the oxidation process.
  5. Next, boil the sliced quince in just enough water to cover them. Let them cook until they are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Then, once soft, drain them and pass them through a food mill or potato ricer to obtain a puree. The hard parts will stay in the food mill and you will be left with a smooth quince puree.
  7. Once you have the quince puree, weigh it and calculate 500 g of sugar per kilo of purée obtained.
  8. Transfer the puree to a dutch oven or a pot with a heavy bottom. Add sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, or until the jam reaches the desired density. During cooking, remember to stir the jam often with a spatula or a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  9. Ladle or funnel the hot quince jam into sterilized hot jars leaving 1 cm from the edge. Wipe the rim and seal tight with the lids.
  10. Label the jars and store them in a cool, dark place. Once opened, keep it sealed in the fridge.

Notes

Be quick in cutting the quince as they easily oxidize once they come into contact with air. Place them in a bowl with water and lemon juice as you finish cutting them all.

The skin of quince is a source of pectin, a natural thickener that facilitates the gelling of jam. For this reason, it is recommended not to peel the quinces and to prefer organic fruit.

Quince jam jars keep for about 3 months, stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. Don’t forget to add a label indicating the name and date of creation. Once opened, keep in the fridge.

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6 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Milena November 18, 2019 at 9:38 am

    This post brings so many memories to me! My grandparents had a massive quince tree in their front yard and come fall there were always bowls full of fruit around the house – the aromas were out of this world good. Then jams, compotes and confitures were made by the whole family! Love qyince jam. So looking forward to making some – thank you for the reminder.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 18, 2019 at 10:14 am

      Thank you, Milena! They have such a wonderful, distinct fragrance! I love my dad’s jam because he puts a lot of sugar and it gets thicker and more gelatinous, but or me, I try to reduce a bit of that sugar and it’s still pretty good. Hope you give it a try!

  • Avatar
    Reply Ann November 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I have a favorite mac and cheese recipe that has a layer of quince jam and caramelized onion on the bottom. It is totally delicious because quince jam and cheese are just amazing together, as you noted. But I always have trouble finding quince jam. So now I know how to make it myself! Woohoo!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 18, 2019 at 2:10 pm

      Wow, that mac and cheese sounds amazing! Yes, quince jam and cheese go so well together. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Michelle November 18, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I love quince jam, I usually serve it with a cheeseboard. I’ve never made my own though, this recipe is perfect for me! I love the step by step photos and all the detail in your recipe I’m sure to succeed, I can’t wait to try and make it myself now!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 18, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      Thank you, Michelle! Quince jam is good with cheese, but it also makes the perfect filling for the Italian crostata. So good! Hope you make it and let me know.

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