Quince Jam

CanningJamPreserves

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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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • 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 Prep and grate the quince: 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.

fresh quince fruit cook grated quince for jam

2 Simmer grated quince in water with lemon juice and zest until soft: Put 4 1/4 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.

3 Add sugar and simmer until thickened: 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.

cooking quince for jam cook quince until it turns rosy red

4 Ladle into jars and seal: 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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Links:

Quince jelly

Wikipedia on Quince

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

57 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • JON FP

    Second time I have made this soo easy to make. The first batch family couldn’t get enough of . Definitely more like marmalade. Will do the same again next year. Used to make a tart with apples also. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • John LaFleur

    I’ve been making this jam from my cooke’s jumbo quince tree for about three years now. It is my favorite jam to make, plus you don’t have to add pectin. I just purchased three more quince trees this year 1 Van Deman, 1 Smyrna & 1 Pineapple

  • Alison

    The farmer next door to our property gave us 2 baskets of quinces last week so I thought I’d try your jam recipe as it looked really simple. I used a food processor to grate the quinces so prepping was really easy and quick and the result was excellent, the recipe made 4 1/2 500g jars and the jam is delicious. I’m giving my near neighbours some of the quinces and will be passing on the recipe to them. I live in france and have tried making quince jelly/jam before and its never been as easy with such good results.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • jennifa

    First time to make the quince jam,and i just loved it. its very simple n easy to follow.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Nancy

    So recipe calls for 4 1/4 cups of water and method indicated 4 1/2 cups of water, please confirm which amount is correct

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