Quince Jam

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Recipe for a simple quince jam made with grated fresh quince, sugar, and lemon juice.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Years ago, backyard quince trees were common. People would cultivate them to harvest the fruit for cooking in pies or preserves. Inedible raw, and looking like a cross between a pear and a golden apple, quince cook up sweet, with a vibrant rose color and a floral aroma and flavor.

These days you can still find an odd tree here and there in backyards of older houses, though chances are the owners don’t know the culinary delights available in these hard yellow fruit.

(I had a quince tree in the yard of my rented home in San Francisco for 4 years and never once cooked a quince. Now that I know better, just to think of it makes me want to bang my head on the wall.)

Here is an easy recipe for a simple quince jam. Feel free to spice it up a little with nutmeg, cardamom, or vanilla.

Quince Jam

Quince Jam Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes about 5 half-pints.

Quince are available in October, November in the Northern Hemisphere.

When choosing what quince to pick or buy, smell the bottom of the fruit. It should have a strong floral fragrance. If not, it's not fully ripe.

If the fruit comes from an organically grown tree, it may easily have worms in the cores. No problem for jam making, just cut the wormy pieces away from the rest and discard.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups (packed) of quince, rinsed, grated (discard cores, leave peel on), from about 2
    lbs of quince (about 5 quince)
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 cups sugar

Method

1 Prepare the quince by washing and cutting in half. Working around the core, grate the quince flesh (including the peel) with a cheese grater, until you have about 6 cups of grated quince.

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2 Put 4 1/2 cups of water in a large (6-8 quart), wide, thick-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the grated quince, lemon juice and lemon zest. Reduce heat and simmer until the quince is soft, about 10 minutes.

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3 Add the sugar and bring to a boil again. Stir to dissolve all of the sugar. Lower the heat to medium high. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until quince jam turns pink and thickens to desired consistency, about 30-50 minutes.

4 Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars* and seal. Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids.

* To sterilize the jars, rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.

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Adapted from the quince jam recipe in Fethiye's Yogurt Land blog.

Links:

Quince jelly

Wikipedia on Quince

Showing 4 of 46 Comments

  • katerina kristo

    I grow up in a country when we had a lot of quince we ate them row and we did jam and jelly it is the best jam of all,Here in America you rare find quins i like to have a tree in the backyard but i don’t know were to find it or buy

  • Lenny

    Hi dear people! I was born in a country where quince tree is as common as pine here. I love this tree and want to plant it in my small front yard. Can anybody give me advice what is the best cultivar of quince? I mean most aromatic,sweet and productive.. Thanks!

  • Fred

    We planted a quince tree three years ago and after waiting with limited patience, got our first crop this fall: 36 pounds of quince. We baked a few halves with brown sugar and butter, made quince and pear pie, and I was looking for a way to use the rest. Commercial quince jams and jellies are frequently bland and the work involved in peeling, coring, and chopping is just too much so I was delighted to find your recipe – so much simpler to grate them with the peels on. I’m delighted with the results, too. I must say it makes the best quince jam I’ve every tasted. Thanks very much.

  • Sandra

    Hi,
    I have a few quince trees and plenty of quinces so I dehydrate them, I eat them raw
    or cut in large pieces add same maple syrup and bake in microwave (2-3 min).
    When I made jam I use half water and have herbal tea ( I use mint from my garden – fresh or dry) and the color of jam is stunning.

  • V. Solomon

    After reading the comments, I added a cheesecloth bag full of cores and seeds to the shredded fruit. The quince stayed yellow-ish until it had cooked for about 40 minutes. At 50 minutes, the jam was a lovely rose color. I also added green cardamom pods (in cheesecloth), which is a great touch. Thank you for this recipe, and thanks to others for their helpful comments.

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