Quince Jam

CanningJamQuince

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

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Quince Jam Recipe

  • 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

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

67 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Justine Jenkins

    Gorgeous! Easy to make.Thank you

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Denise

    Hi Elise, thank you for your response. I didn’t see processing in your recipe? I usually do process my cooked jams & jellies. Years ago it was ok to invert them.

  3. Denise

    First time making quince jam. It’s good! I am giving it away to my family & friends for a gift. Do I need to refrigerate since there wasn’t any processing? Thank you!

    Show Replies (2)
  4. Rod Burns, Quadra Island, Canada

    My 15 year old Persian Quince gave me about 90 kg / 200 lbs of yellow gold this year. They were made into Juice (ground and pressed), cider (10 kg. ground + 15 L of spring water) Tomorrow, I’ll grind 9 kg. into pulp for my Quince Butter – 85% fruit / juice using Pamona Pectin – uses 0 – 25% sugar or honey. I do live in Coastal British Columbia, Canada with a very mild / rainy climate. Our soil was exceptionally rich.

  5. Julie

    I had never heard of a Quince before our son returned from the Peace Corp in Maracco.
    He planted a tree in 2014 and it produced 5 fruits this year. I tried the recipe . Very easy, much like making apple butter. I made my apple butter with a crockpot. Takes longer to cook, less need to attend. When we have more fruit I might try it that way . Nice flavor.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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