Friday, 10 October 2014

Quince jelly

So these were quinces that andrew from my allot site gave me. He has a really small bush that he grew from a seed. He reckons this year it had 90 fruits! They're not v big fruits, with not much flesh so I decided to make a jelly as you just chop the whole lot up rather than having to cut out the core etc.

I used a jelly recipe from the River Cottage preserves book by Pam Corbin.

First chop up the fruits. I didn't weigh them as it didn't really matter too much - you work out the amount of sugar to add after you've strained the juice off. Although you do add 100ml of cider vinegar in the recipe. Not sure what that actually does to the recipe but it had a very good set.

Anyway, here's the quinces having a rinse. Although it looks like some are damaged (brown) they're actually all fine and rock hard.

And one chopped in half - not much flesh as probably an ornamental variety.

You add enough water to cover the fruit and bring to the boil then simmer (covered) until the fruit is soft. I did chuck in two or three apples too as they needed using up., that you can see on top. I hadn't added the water at this point.

After they were soft I gave them a bit of a bash around with the spoon to break them up a bit and get more juice out.

Then I used my makeshift strainer (upturned stool) and left them overnight. You scald the jelly bag first to get rid of germs, I do this by putting it in a small bowl of boiling water.

With the straining, I start it off with the jug a bit higher up (more plates) to reduce the amount of splash, then remove some plates when it starts filling up. Also I strain straight into a jug as the next thing is you need to know the volume of juice anyway, so it saves washing up.

In the morning - if you want a really clear jelly you're not meant to squeeze the bag but I'd rather get more jelly for the effort, so I squeeze it as much as I can! You have to be careful the bag doesn't split.

This is the juice that had come out by the morning
And after I'd given it a good old squeeze, quite a lot more!

When you know the volume of liquid, you measure a particular ratio of sugar. For every 600ml of liquid you add 450g of sugar.

Bring the liquid to a boil and then stir the sugar in ( it's important to add the sugar after the liquid is boiled) making sure it's all dissolved and add the vinegar (I'll have to just check at what point the vinegar went in, am writing on the train, heading away for the weekend).

You then rapid boil for 10 mins or so and can check for a set (turn off the heat and place a teaspoonful on a cold plate). I could see as soon as I turned the heat off it was already set, as a skin started forming on top, so had to act quickly to pot it up into sterilised jars. It's got a really nice flavour, and lovely colour. The batch I made a few years ago was pink (made with proper cooking quinces) but this batch turned out a nice orange.

It was pretty clear despite the extra squeezing! I didn't get too much scum either - you can skim that off whilst boiling. I left it and just moved it aside and then ate it at the end (after all, it's just the same as the jelly, just has air bubbles in). I used a small glass jug for filling up the jars as they're quite small jars and the funnel wouldn't fit it.

So that's it! If I ever get a bit more space I think I'd grow a quince tree. I wouldn't be allowed one on my allot as they've introduced a maximum number of trees etc and I already have more than that witht the apples and plum and hazel. Maybe I could sneak a little bush in though.



  1. It must be a good year for quinces but yours are a totally different shape to ours.

    1. Sounds like it is a good year sue. Ones I've had before have been more like a large pear with a downy skin. It only needed 3 or 4 for a good batch of jelly.

    2. Ours start downy like a peach and then become smooth as they ripen.

  2. I've never tasted quince, actually. Your jelly looks lovely!

  3. Thanks Margaret! It's quite easy really, just some chopping, boiling and straining. Has a lovely fragrance.