Quince Jam

Quince jam is alluring and unique. Grate fragrant quince, then cook it down slowly with sugar and lemon juice into a preserve that's almost like membrillo in jam form.

Quince Jam
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
Elise Bauer

More Standout Preserves to Try:

Quince Jam

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 70 mins
Total Time 90 mins
Servings 80 servings
Yield 5 half-pint jars

Quince are available in October and 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.


  • 2 pounds (about 5 quince) quince

  • 4 1/4 cups water

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 4 cups sugar

Special Equipment

  • 5 half-pint canning jars


  1. Prep and grate the quince:

    Prepare the quince by washing and cutting them 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
    Elise Bauer
    cook grated quince for jam
    Elise Bauer
  2. Simmer the grated quince with lemon juice and zest until soft:

    Put 4 1/4 cups of water in a large (6-8 quart), wide, thick-bottomed pan or pot 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 the 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. (If the jam has thickened but hasn't turn pink, add a little more water and cook a little longer.)

    cooking quince for jam
    Elise Bauer
    cook quince until it turns rosy red
    Elise Bauer
  4. Ladle into jars:

    Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying clean, dry lids.

  5. Process for longer storage:

    If you'd like to can your jam for longer storage, process the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

    Sealed jars of jam will be good for at least 1 year. Open jars of jam (or jars that were not processed) should be refrigerated and will be good for at least a few months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
46 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 80
Amount per serving
Calories 46
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 26mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.