Quince Jelly

You'll be able to tell a quince is ripe by smelling the blossom end of it. Ripe quince have a strong, floral fragrance. For best results, only use quince that are ripe and have that lovely smell.

Sometimes home grown quince can be rather buggy. My mother used to tell me that all that meant was that the fruit was good! If this happens to your quince, just cut around the buggy parts.

  • Yield: Makes 4-6 8-ounce jars of jelly


  • 3 1/2 lbs (1.6 kg) of quince, washed, stems removed, cored, quartered (leave skin on)
  • 7 cups (1.6 liters) water
  • Enough sugar to add almost a cup of sugar (about 7/8 cup) for every cup of juice (about 4 cups)

Special equipment:

  • 1 wide 6 or 8-quart pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Metal strainer
  • Potato masher
  • Canning jars (6 8-ounce jars or 3 pint jars)
  • Candy thermometer or digital thermometer


First Stage of Cooking

1 Cover quince with water: Put quince pieces in a large stockpot with a thick bottom and add water (if you are eyeballing it, put in enough water to cover the pieces of quince by about an inch.)

quince-covered-with-water quince-cooking

2 Cook quince until soft: Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until the quince pieces are soft.

3 Mash cooked quince: With a potato masher, mash the quince to the consistency of slightly runny applesauce. Add more water if necessary. If the mash is too thick, you won't get enough juice out of it.

Mashing quince jelly pulp Straining the juice from the quince pulp

4 Strain the quince juice from the pulp: Place a metal strainer over a pot. Drape 2 layers of cheesecloth over the strainer. (Can skip the cheesecloth if you are using a fine mesh strainer). Ladle the pulp into the cheesecloth. You may need to have two strainers set up this way.

Let the pulp strain for 3 to 4 hours. If you aren't getting enough juice out of the pulp, you may need to mix more water into the mash.

Measure the juice and add sugar

5 Add sugar: Measure the amount of juice you have. Should be about 4 to 5 cups. Pour the strained quince juice into a thick-bottomed pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Measure out the sugar - a little less than a cup for every cup of juice. Add sugar to the juice.

Second stage of cooking

6 Bring to a boil: Bring to a boil, initially stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved, so that the sugar does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Insert a candy thermometer to monitor the jelly temperature.

quince-jelly-alden quince-jelly-skimming-foam

7 Skim foam: As the jelly cooks, skim off the foam that comes to the surface with a spoon.

8 Sterilize jars: As the jelly is boiling, sterilize your jars for canning. (See section below on canning.)

9 Look for the set point: As the temperature rises above the boiling point of water (212°F), you will notice the consistency of the jelly/juice begins to change. When the temperature is approximately 6 to 8 degrees higher than boiling point at your altitude (anywhere from 218°F  to 220°F at sea level) the jelly is ready to pour into jars. (Quince has so much pectin, it can set earlier than other types of jellies.)

runny-jelly.jpg ready-jelly.jpg

Left: Jelly is too runny. Right: Jelly is wrinkling when pushed, which means it's ready.

Note that candy thermometers aren't always the most reliable indicators of whether or not a jelly is done. Another way to test is put a half teaspoonful of the jelly on a chilled (in the freezer) plate. Allow the jelly to cool a few seconds, then push it with your fingertip. If it wrinkles up, it's ready.

quince-jelly-boiling-1 quince-jelly-boiling-2


10 Sterilizing jars: There are several ways to sterilize your jars for canning. You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher. You can place them in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don't touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes. Sterilize canning lids by letting them sit in just boiled hot water for a few minutes.

11 Ladle jelly into jars and seal: Use a large ladle to pour the jelly into the sterilized jars to 5/8 inch from the top rim of the jar. Seal the top with a canning lid and ring. You will hear a popping noise as a vacuum seal is created as the jars of jelly cool.

If you want to use paraffin wax to seal the jars instead of the canning lids, melt some paraffin in a separate small saucepan. Pour enough melted paraffin over the jelly in the jars to add 1/4-inch layer of wax to the top. The paraffin wax will float to the top, cool, and harden, forming a seal over the jelly as it cools. Note that this method is no longer endorsed by current canning experts because sometimes it doesn't seal perfectly, and mold can get in. 

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  • Sharon

    I made this for the first time 3 years ago. Wonderful easy recipe, turned out wonderful. Now a family favourite. I have just started cooking this year’s batch. The house smells devine

  • Jane

    I’ve just made up this years batch of juice straining now. I hope it’s as good as last years jelly. Superb…

  • Robert

    what colour should the syrup be before sugar is added

  • Carlene

    lovely, tasty, tart, delightful jelly. Rare to have quince in this area, but found 2 yards that have them and the owners glad to give me the fruit in exchange for some jelly. So pretty in the jar—rosey/orange but darkens to a dark orange in about 6 months. a big hit with everyone that gets a jar.


  • Peg

    Delicious, but could not get it to set.


  • Elizabeth

    Hi Elise I am a little confused by the recipe it states in the ingredients section to leave skin on but on the first stage of cooking states cover peeled quince with water.im not sure which to do .thanks

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Elizabeth, great question! I can see where that can be confusing. Actually the traditional way to make apple or quince jelly is to leave the peels on. There is more pectin close to the peels. I made this batch of quince jelly with my friend George (who is no longer with us RIP) and I’m not sure why he peeled his quince. Perhaps because there were blemishes? I don’t remember. There is plenty of pectin in quince and in the core, so you can peel the quince or not, it won’t really make much of a difference. I’ve removed the reference to the “peeled” quince in the instructions, so hopefully it won’t be confusing any more.

  • Donna Ortiz

    Hi I used this recipe and it was great turned out exactly as I hoped the recipe was easy to follow and very clear first time I made Quince jelly I would give you A5 star


  • Suzanne M

    I just made this with fruit from a flowering quince bush (which isn’t the same as tree quince….smaller, but also edible and has the same properties as larger, more typical quince). I didn’t peel the quince, as other recipes don’t, and I saved time by cooking my little, odd quinces in a pressure cooker for 5 minutes (natural release). The color and the flavor of the finished jelly are just beautiful. Thank you, Elise!


  • Jose Piers

    I must have done something really wrong! 2kg of Quince and 3.5Lt of water and still very little juice!
    What’s happened?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jose, that has happened to me on occasion. When there isn’t enough juice coming out, I add boiling water to the purée.

  • paulstokes

    Brilliant hard work but well worth it. -S


  • DB

    Do you peel the quince? Your ingredients say to leave skin on. I am looking forward to trying this. Thank you.

  • J

    This turned out really well, thank you.


  • Sharon

    I would process the quince jelly the same way I do my crabapples. Wash your jars in the dishwasher using the sanitize cycle. Leave the jars in the dishwasher to hold the heat. I try to time them finishing to the jelly process. Lids go in a pot that is at a simmer with boiling water. Sealer rings on standby.

    When you hit the jelly stage, pull 1 jar at a time out of the dishwasher and fill. I like to set them on a towel to help hold the heat. Ensure the rim is clean and then place the lid and rings (don’t over tighten) Leave them alone until they completely cool. The lids will start to ping almost immediately. The secret is to keep everything as hot as possible so watch your fingers.

    This season I did 48 jars of crabapple jelly and every single one sealed perfectly.

  • Julia Crowther

    Making the jelly yestereday and i have put the sugar in at the begining of the process, just 4 cups to the 1.6 kgs f quince 7 cups water i have strained it off and it looks great , i will boil up again, but was not sure if this will muck up the process ? i will taste before i add anymore sugar it may be ok ? i hope so,

    • Julia Crowther

      i am replying to myself , i continued the process boiled up the strained juice and added 4 cups of sugar and it came out really well and really clear, so putting the sugar in first did not muck up the process at all. But wont make that mistake again.

  • Theresa Scholz

    we harvested quince for the first time last year from our own trees. After washing, we cut the quince, discarded the seeds. We used a steam juicer, easy process. Made delicious jelly from the juice. We froze the leftover pulp in containers. We use the pulp like applesauce over cereal, no sugar added. Delicious!

  • Julie

    I used a steam juicer to get the quince juice. No straining or waiting, and the result was a beautiful and perfectly clear juice. Ole!

  • Kit

    Hi Elise, thank you for what looks to be a wonderful quince jelly recipe. I’m wondering if, when preparing the fruit, I can cut them into ‘spiralized’ ribbons using a stand mixer spiralizer attachment, instead of cutting into quarters. I’m hoping I can cut into these smaller pieces, (coring & leaving peel on,) by machine to save time & cutting strain on my hands! Would this smaller fruit piece negatively effect the outcome? Thanks! Kit, Vancouver BC

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kit, sure! You’re going to end up mashing them anyway.

      • Kit

        Ok thanks! I’ve just sliced them all up now & ended up with 7 lbs. Would it be fine to cook a double recipe or would it be best to do separately? Cheers, Kit

        • Elise Bauer

          Hi Kit, it’s usually not a good idea to double jam and jelly recipes. I would do two separate batches.

    • Paula

      Just don’t purée the fruit like I did I year as you don’t get as much juice , the potato masher is the best . good luck Paula Maple Ridge .

  • G Lopez

    Your instructions on the canning process were good, except I need clarifying on when the sterilized lids are put on the jars. Do you submerge the jars again in the hot water for 10 minutes to ensure a seal or just seal the jar and put it away to cool?

    I love quince and really enjoyed reading all the comments. When my Aunt was with us she made the paste and I could never get enough of it. Our neighbor has a tree that she never did anything with. I always obtained some quince and made jam almost like applesauce but I loved it. I have added this to cookies, breads and last year I found a recipe for Membrillo cookies that were a hit with everyone in the family. The pickiest eater wants to know when I am going to make the cookies again. She said she couldn’t stop eating them, I was surprised because she turns her nose up at almost everything. I wasn’t aware that so many people loved this fruit. I have been asked about its history and I just thought it was an old-fashioned pioneer fruit, lol. Next year we will make sure that the neighbors take care of the tree to bear giant fruit like in past years. This year the fruit is very small as I don’t believe they watered it much. Thank you for any insight on the boiling of the jars.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi G, submerging the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes will help the jars seal. If you plan on using up the jelly in the next few months, then personally I wouldn’t bother. But if you want the jelly to have a real good seal and last for a long time, then yes, a water bath is a good idea. Note that the only thing that can happen to this jelly is mold. Any bacteria will not be able to survive because of the sugar content. Since my friend George never bothered with a canning lid, and did all of his jelly canning with parafin, and never had a problem with mold, I don’t worry about it. That said, the “official” word from the canning companies like Ball? Water bath.

      • Rosie

        if you do’t do the hot water bath the same day is it too late to do it the next day or just let it go and see what happens?

        • Elise Bauer

          Hi Rosie, I typically do not do a water bath for jelly recipes that have a standard amount of sugar, like this one does. I just sterilize the jars. The high percentage of sugar will inhibit the growth of any bad bacteria. That said, if I were to do a water bath a day after I had already canned the jelly, I would actually empty the jars into a pot, re-sterilize the jars, re-heat the mixture, pour back into clean jars, seal, and then do a water bath.

  • Paula madeiros

    Hi Elise I have made this recipe for a few years now but always struggle at the straining method we use a fine painter straining mesh bag we can ladle 5/6 cups of mash but hardly any liquid comes out , my husband is so tempted to squeeze the bag but I know this makes it cloudy , how runny should the mash be and out of 5/6 cups of mash how much liquid are we suppose to have . Thanks appreciate your help . Paula Vancouver BC

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Paula, the mash should be very runny, like runny applesauce. If it isn’t, just add more water to it before you put it in the mesh bag. If you start with 3 1/2 pounds of quince, and add 7 cups of water (not counting additional water) you should end up with 4 to 5 cups of juice.

      • Paula madeiros

        Hi Elise , does it make a difference instead of using a potato mashed use a hand blender ? I added more water to the mash as you mentioned but the final product in the jar colour is a very light orange not the deep red it should be . I generally make the quince to make the quince to give away as Xmas gifts as my tree produced about 50lbs. I just want to get it right , thanks so much Paula , appreciate your time .

        • Mike

          The juice will initially be a very pale orange in colour. As it begins to caramelise, it will deepen in colour, and in fact the deep red colour you will eventually see in the pan will be an indication that it is time to start the “frozen plate wrinkle test”. It takes time, but it’s worth the result!

          • Elise Bauer

            Hi Mike, the color does change to a deep red as it cooks, but I don’t think this a result of caramelization. Caramelization has to do with the cooking of sugar and has its own flavor, which actually you don’t want in this jelly.

          • Fiona

            the quinces are not turning a deep red – don’t despair! Quinces that are full of tannin turn a deep ruby red colour, those that have fewer tannins may stay a light colour. Tannin concentration varies on where it is grown.

  • Emilia N. Prieto

    Hi Elise,
    what can i do with the pulp that is left in the seive??

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Emilia, not much. I’ve even tried making fruit leather with it and it wasn’t very good. If you come up with something that you like, please let us know!

    • Rebecca

      You can make membrillo (quince paste)! Delicious with crackers and cheese and super expensive to buy in stores. Have a google for some membrillo recipes.




    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Dot! You pick the fruit when you hold the blossom end of the fruit to your nose and it smells absolutely wonderful. That’s when the fruit is ripe. By the way, typically quince does not become ripe until September or October.

  • Maryann

    hi made quince jelly , but i am afraid it has set too hard to spread. Is there anything i can do with it now or is it destined to be used as a very clear quince paste on all our cheese platter for the next uptine years? I have about 7 jars of it, magnificent colour and flavour, just not good on toast.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Maryann, you might try zapping it in the microwave for a few seconds before spreading it on toast.

  • henry smith

    wow what a great quince recipe just made 12 cups and ready to do12 cups more thank you from Henry in New Zealand the best recipe have tried
    had approx 50kg of quinces this year

  • Noemie

    How long is the quince jelly good for

    • Elise Bauer

      Usually I try to eat up jams and jellies that I’ve canned within one year. That said, they can usually last several years properly canned.

  • Diana

    What other foods pair well with quince jelly? Cheese? What type of bread? Nuts? Thought it would make a wonderful, unique Christmas basket.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Diana, quince jelly is excellent with manchego cheese.

    • Tammy Mueller

      Asiago cheese pairs well also. My Christmas guests loved it!

  • Diana

    After completing the jelly making process, mine looks a bit firm…what texture should the jelly be? Soft or bit firm? I did the freezer test and boiled it to 220. Looked good when I poured them into the jars. But now I’m wondering if they’re right.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Diana, if you did the wrinkle test on the cold plate, and the jelly wrinkled, then you’re fine. The jelly will continue to firm up as it cools and over the following weeks.

  • diana Iratcabal-Bracy

    Wonderful, pretty jelly out of an ugly duckling fruit! What else do you pair with it? I want to make it the star in my Christmas baskets. Type of bread? Nuts? Cheese? Chocolates? Wine? I’m not that familiar with what to pair it with. Help !!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Diana, well you can’t eat most varieties raw, so it probably doesn’t belong in a Christmas basket. Cooked it is excellent as a side to pork.

    • Susan

      Absolutely delighted with blue cheese on fig toast from Trader Joe’s

    • Julie

      CHEESE, especially Manchego from Spain. Swiss cheese is nice too.

  • Al

    Do you only ladle the pulp into your cheesecloth and toss the water used to boil the fruit?

    • Elise Bauer

      You ladle everything into the cheesecloth, especially the water.

  • JJ foster

    Hi, my name is JJ. I wanted to know with the directions given for quince jelly, when you add the water to cook them in, do I keep that water in the pot to mash them with, or do I strain them and add that 7cups of water on the ingredients chart.

  • Tammy M

    Thank you to George for the excellent step by step jelly recipe. It’s my ‘go to’ site every fall when our quince are ready. We purchased a multiple variety pear tree, and after a few years, it produced an unknown variety of fuzzy ‘pears’. After much research, we found that the fuzzy ‘pears’ were quince! The pear varieties were grafted to a quince root stock which sent out shoots that grew as a part of the tree. Each fall we harvest 40 to 50 pounds of lovely quince. I’ve nearly perfected a version of jalapeno/quince jelly and I’m working on cinnamon/quince jelly as well. Last year I had so much juice and not enough time to make jelly, so I canned the juice (with nothing added) in quart jars using the pressure cooker at 5 lbs for 15 minutes. The juice turned a lovely rose color, sealed great, and allowed me to make jelly later in the year when I had more time. I believe the pressure cooking step reduced the stove top cook time for the jelly as well. I’ve also frozen the pulp for Membrillo to be cooked later.
    Tammy M Marysville, WA, USA


  • Kitty

    I’ve used this recipe for about four years now. Every time I make my quince jelly I use google and search all the results till I find this one and follow it even though I more or less have it memorized now. Can’t seem to keep the book mark form year to year some reason.

    It’s wonderful, I didn’t know what a quince was till the first year I made this recipe. It’s now my favorite fruit. Makes an excellent addition to apple pies!

    Thank you so much for posting this for us to use!


  • Rob

    I decided to make quince jelly today. I have a number of fruit trees here & figured I best do something about the fruit instead of letting it end up as compost.
    After making grape jelly & fig jam successfully (2nd time for both) I figured quince would be easier.
    Everything is going fine BUT … after straining thru linen … the colour is similar to the pulp i.e. NOT pink. Do I need to worry yet or should I wait until its fully strained & reboiled with sugar added? When will the pink colour appear?
    Thanx Rob
    P.S. I am using flowering quince as my other quince tree failed to produce fruit this year.

    The straining color is not pink. The pink doesn’t develop until the sugar has been added and the mixture has boiled for a while. ~Elise

    • Fiona

      the quinces are not turning a deep red – don’t despair! Quinces that are full of tannin turn a deep ruby red colour, those that have fewer tannins may stay a light colour. Tannin concentration varies on where it is grown.

  • Susan Crowley

    Quince does ripen once picked, a question that occurred earlier in the comments. Just let it ripen on the counter, like pears. It will turn a lovely gold. It’s best picked, I’ve found, just around the time of first frost, even after the frost if it’s not too severe.

    We have an old quince tree, and I’ve been harvesting mountains of quince off it for years. It took me many years to figure out some ways to use it (like a kind of apple sauce, as a baked meat accompaniment, or in pies with apples), and tomorrow I’ll be making my first quince jelly. It makes lovely gold spheres on the tree at Christmas time, and I suspect it may be the ancient source of the use of bright balls on Christmas trees. I’ve also heard that it’s the ancestral apple of Eden.

    Lovely fruit. I should figure out how to graft our tree.

    Very nice blog. Thank you.

    Susan in Hood River, Oregon

  • Mariane

    Thank you all for your great info on Quinces. I have searched for info on how to use a kitchen steamer juicer, and behold, the info is here: 3 pounds of chopped quinced in a steamer for 2 hours. Can’t wait for my quinces to ripen. Jelly and membrillo are on the list of recipes to try with the 9 pounds of quince I got. Happy cooking all!

  • Christy

    I’ve had trouble with jelly I make typically setting too hard to spread. With the quince batch I just made, I got the thermometer out to try to get it right. It’s not a candy thermometer, but it goes higher than 220. When it got to 205 and wouldn’t budge, I did the wrinkle test, got a slight wrinkle, and jarred it. Once again – too stiff.
    Any suggestions? Is this happening because I’m doing too small a batch? I only bought a couple of quince to see whether I even like quince jelly, so it was a small pot and only about 10 oz of jelly.
    I think that I saw a comment somewhere around here about how to loosen it up again, but I can’t find it now.

  • Gen

    I made quince jelly last year for the first time with no problems at all. This time I spent all afternoon making it, only to find that for some reason it has stayed a rather pathetic shade of pale yellow. It also tastes very mild in comparison to my last years batch. Any ideas? It took a very long time to reach settting point, perhaps that has something to do with it?
    Would appreciate your help before I ruin the next lot!

    Hi Gen, every time I make a batch of jelly it turns out differently. It’s probably something to do with the fruit, no idea what though. ~Elise

  • Jo Meikle

    My mother gave me about a dozen large quinices from her tree and i unfortunately made quince ‘jelly’ all in one batch! Despite boiling it forever it did not reach the setting point (although the stuff stuck to the sides of the pan was just perfectly jellified), so i now have the most fabulous coloured, beautiful tasting quince syrup!
    Is there anything i can do to save this and make it turn to jelly? My mum suggested i try re-boiling a couple of jars at a time.

    That’s odd. Quince has a ton of pectin in so it should set. You could also just use this as a syrup over pork, or add sparkling water to it to make a tasty drink. You could try reboiling a couple of jars at a time. Note that if you changed the recipe at all in terms of the ingredient amounts, that might it not set. You might want to add a little liquid pectin to the batches you retry, no idea on the amounts. ~Elise

  • yvonne bowen

    Is a quince bush fruit used like the fruit of the quince tree? I would like to make the jelly!

    Quince trees are often bush-like, especially if their shooters have not been trimmed off at the base. So I’m assuming that your quince bush is really just a quince tree, and that you can use the fruit. ~Elise

  • Sean Beukman

    I am a fisherman on the westcoast of South Africa.

    We have been using quince jelly on fishbraais as a baste. Salt fish 1 hr, wash off salt, wind dry in the shade 1 hr. Mix Q jelly, lemon juice, pepper, lemon, thyme. Braai fish skinside down till 1/2 done. Turn skinside down,5 mins,turn back &baste. Delicious.

    P S
    You may have 2 turn a couple of times, basting everytime depending on type of fish and heat of coals, height above fire.

  • cindy

    Followed your recipe, but would like to know how long it boils after reaching 220 degrees before it is done? Ours reaches 220 degrees but does not sheet or wrinkle for a good half hour or longer.

    Every batch is different. Depends on the tree, the variety, the year, whether the fruit is picked early or late in the season, etc. etc. Also depends on the thermometer. I rely mostly on the wrinkle test. And as soon as I get anything closely resembling a wrinkle, I take the jelly off the heat. ~Elise

  • Lynn Van Meter

    Okay guys I too love quince jelly or jam. My problem is that I’m a diabetic and am not to use large amounts of sugar. Has anyone tried making this jelly with Xylitol or some other artificial sweetener? Every body says quince tree but mine is a bush and I have to cut my quince with half apples or its so strong you can’t stand it.

  • judith thoet

    I live in the Yakima Valley of WA, the largest apple/pear producing region in the US. Our neighbor has a quince tree, and I’ve been making quince jelly for 5 years. This recipe has produced the most intensely flavored jelly I’ve ever made. And the technique is based on sound food science principles. Thank you for sharing!

  • Rudy Laguna

    How does one ripen green quince? Most of my fruit are yellow but many smaller ones fell off the bush while still green. Can green ones be used as well as ripe in the recipe?

    No, green ones cannot be used for this recipe, they will not have developed enough flavor. Some fruit does continue to ripen once off the tree (think bananas), but as far as I know this is not so of quince or apples. ~Elise

  • Cathey Visscher

    Thank you so much for this recipe, the first time I made it, it turned out sensational, a cooking judge said she would give me a prize based on colour and texture alone!! The next time I made it, it didnt work because I am not familiar with quinces and I think they werent ripe enough. Am about to start my 3rd attempt and it looks good already. Thank you from Melbourne Australia.

  • Dona

    While in Bellingham, Washington at a “tasting” I was served a quince jelly but it was cut into cubes from a slab. Served with cheeses and crackers or breads, or alone it was delicious. I would love to have the preparation instructions and recipe. Anyone?

    That would be membrillo, quince paste, usually served with Machego sheep’s milk cheese, an excellent combination. ~Elise

  • Becky

    Oh, thank you, thank you for this recipe! I rented a century old farmhouse, and it took me two years to identify this quirky fruit off an ugly tree in the backyard. The tree produced only four quinces this year, but it made the most lovely jelly! I imagined that the ghost of the original farm’s housewife was at my elbow, guiding me all the while. Your instructions worked flawlessly–we both thank you for bringing quince jelly back to the old farmstead!

    What a great story, thank you for sharing! ~Elise

  • cathy winsor

    Have been making quince jelly for many years and whenever I try to do things differently it fails. I would be a bit wary about using a juicer, I tried whisking (to speed things up) some quince pulp, then straining and it went cloudy, better to stick to the traditional methods above. What I have found if making a large batch, have a few muslin cloths tied up with the pulp in, rather than one big one. Don’t boil the pulp after it’s mashed..it will burn. Don’t use pectin, there is plenty in the quinces, no need to core them either. The wrinkle test is better than using a jam thermometer.
    Here in France lunch is the same every day, bread, a green salad, cheese, cold meats and , always with a spoonful of quince jelly, oddly it is a taste we never tire of, unlike shop bought pickles.

  • AndrewMunn

    Excellent. Have always wanted to use the quince in the backyard. Added half a dozen hot peppers to the mash as it cooked. Nice zip to the flavor

  • PatrickDoyle

    Hello, found this site yesterday after picking a crate of my neighbor’s quinces. This recipe is great! The color and light flavor of the quince jelly is wonderful.

    I made the mistake of making too much at a time and had to boil it down a bit, but that’s all right. Ended up with 12 one cup jars of jelly, and as far as I can tell, 1 quince = 1 cup of jelly. I’m ecstatic about it all, I have to make another 5 or six batches of the stuff.

    Once again, a wonderful recipe.
    Thank you.

  • marian

    Hi, Glad I stumbled upon this site as I have a quince tree and needed some info and recipes for them. Has anyone tried using a juicer? I would think that after cooking the quinces one could run them through the juicer…. It should save some time straining. I may try it on one of my batches this year. I’ll post the results I still have a month or two before they are fully ripe. Thanks, Marian

  • Lindsey


    I am just wondering whether it is necessary to core the quinces, as I will be using the muslin to strain it? the cores are so hard to get out. I love this recipe, have been using it for 3 years now and even my mother used it this year after my successes, and she is really great with preserving and jams.

    There are a couple good reason to core the quinces. First is that the cores are often home to worms, unless the trees have been sprayed. Second is that the quince seeds are considered mildly poisonous. ~Elise

  • Leanne

    Hi just a question about making the quince jelly, when you have boiled the fruit and is tender, do you use the water that you boiled them when you go to mash fruit like the pictures shows on web page above. Sorry this is my first time making the jelly.

    Yes, you mash the fruit in the water you used to boil it. ~Elise

  • Venie

    I made my first attempt at making jelly last night. I followed the directions but this morning when I looked at the jars it doesnt look like the jelly set up right. Doesnt look very thick. Any suggestions? I wanted this for Christmas Baskets.

    Wait a day and see if it sets. You can tip the jar to see, it it’s still liquidy in there, it didn’t set. If it doesn’t set, empty the jars into a saucepan, re-sterilized the jars, bring the jelly to a simmer again, and boil down until you get a proper set. Make sure you are using an accurate candy thermometer. Sometimes you have to tilt the pan a bit to ensure that the actual probe on the thermometer is covered with the liquid. Also use the frozen plate test. If the jelly wrinkles, that means it’s setting. There is so much pectin in quince, you shouldn’t need to add any additional. But if you do, you can add a little liquid pectin to the mix to help it set. ~Elise

  • Sarah

    This recipe looks great, and the bag of quinces on my counter will be cooking this evening. Thanks!

    Wanted to chime in on the paraffin sealing issue–my understanding is that this is no longer recommended because sometimes the paraffin pulls away from the edge of the jar, leaving a tiny crack for decay to get in. Inversion or boiling water bath will work better to seal securely.

    Actually, the only thing you have to worry about is mold. The jelly’s sugar content keeps out bacteria. Paraffin is a traditional canning method that many people still use, though I agree, canning jars with lids work better. In the case of this recipe, my friend George likes to use paraffin. ~Elise

  • deRuiter

    This is a great recipe. My Grandmother Emily made all her own jams, jellies, preserves and pickles every year, when I was a child. She used the parafin for sealing. You can save and reuse the parafin over and over which is thrifty and good for the environment. After opening the jelly for the first time, the parafin (if the jar has another lid) is removed and washed with the dishes, and then stored in a small white enameled pot with red trim which is stored in a clean plastic bag. At the beginning of canning season Grandma would melt the collection of wax discs over very low heat (watch carefully and use LOW heat.) She would use what she needed for the batch of jelly, cool the white enamel pot with red trim, and then seal it in a clean plastic bag. Next time she made jelly she would again melt the parafin in the pan, and so on. As a jar of jelly was used, the disc would be washed and stored in the white and red pot. Some years she needed to buy a block of the parafin, most years she had enough with the recycling.

  • Josef Magyar

    How do you get 4 to 5 cups of juice when you add
    7 cups of water?

    It gets boiled away through evaporation. ~Elise

  • lin

    I have 4 buckets of quince and have such a hard time finding recipes-my chickens will NOT eat them in any shape, form, etc. Thanks for the recipe, it is so well explained-wished I had seen this years ago. Thanks for taking the time to put this on the web.

    Hi Lin, if you are looking for more ideas, check out this list of quince recipes. ~Elise

  • Mariette

    Hi Sacha

    I’ve just “found” this page again and no my friend isn’t Maggie Beer! She’s even better!

    I too live in the Fremantle area and am trying like crazy to find a nursery that sells Quince Trees, no luck so far but I will persevere.

    It’s a pity the season is so short so I guess we’ll just have to wait until early next year for more to come along. I have friends with trees and can’t wait to put one in my garden.


  • sacha

    Hi Mariette,
    I don’t suppose your friend over east is Maggie Beer?After watching her on “the cook and the chef”I asked for her cookbook “Harvest” for mothers day and have also become quince mad!!Ive just made her pot roasted quinces and a quince tart…with lots of jelly as a by- product…yummy!! If indeed it is then you are very lucky to have learnt from the master and Im very envious!!Have you had any luck finding a local grower in WA as I’m from Fremantle and have found them in local shops but would love tree fresh! Cheers

  • Mariette

    Have just found this fascinating page. Thanks to all the contributors. I too have been a bit “quince mad” lately. While visiting my friend Maggie in Victoria, Australia recently we were able to empty her quince trees and made many batches of jam, jelly and paste over the easter break.

    I’m now back in Perth, Western Australia and the quince obsession continues. I’ve made a batch of beautiful quince jelly from the peel and cores of quince that I’d grated for jam. My mum, who is now 87, told me recently that was how she used to make it.

    It was so easy! When I strained the peel and cores the juice was very cloudy and I couldn’t be bothered re-straining through muslin. However the final product was the best of all the jelly that I’ve made.

    I know now why the “large” batches of jelly made with Maggie didn’t turn out so good. Clearly it works much better with a small amount of liquid.

    While in Victoria I tasted pickled cherries for the first time – wow they are fantastic! Anyone have a recipe? I also heard of pickled grapes. Also does anyone know if Autumn olives are available in Australia? Specifically Perth? Thanks again.

  • margaretsmith

    I had trouble getting my jelly to set and after googling jelly problems found this additional information.
    I had made too big a batch it seems as I had a huge number of Quinces

    Jam or jelly is too soft or syrupy if it is:

    -Undercooked. (Undercooked jelly is syrupy and will not

    -Made in too big a batch. (Jelly should always be made
    in a small batch, using no more than 4 to 6 cups of
    juice for one cooking. With a larger batch it is
    necessary to boil the mixture longer than usual to
    bring it to the jellying stage; however, long boil-
    ing often produces a strong caramelized flavor and
    darkened color. If a larger batch of jelly is boiled
    for the usual time, it will be undercooked). DO

    -Made with too much juice in the mixture.

    -Made with too little pectin (fruit was overripe or too
    little added pectin was used).

    -Made with too little acid.

    -Made with too little sugar. (If jelly made with too
    little sugar is boiled for the usual length of time,
    it will be syrupy and runny. Jelly made with too
    little sugar requires longer boiling to reach
    jellying stage. But by the time it reaches this
    stage the jelly will be tough). DO NOT DECREASE THE

    -Made with a great excess of sugar. (Jelly made with
    excess sugar is so soupy that it does not hold its
    shape. If commercially canned or frozen fruit or
    juice is used to make jellied products, the excess
    sugar will probably cause the jelly to be syrupy.
    Only unsweetened commercial preparations can be used
    to make jelly or jam).

  • mindi thornton

    My Jelly turned out Beautiful. Washed, cut in halves, 3 lbs of quince. Steamed (nutri-steamer method) for 2 hrs, Got 3 and 1/4 cup juice, mixed with juice of one lemon, 3 cups of sugar, NO pectin. Got really boiling hot, jelly is clear red and set just right. Good luck, steaming is soooo easy, no mess.

  • mindi thornton

    I am steaming three pounds of quinces right now in a nutri-steamer. I washed them and sliced them in half. Will let you know how much juice I get from the three pounds. (see question by Joan 24 sept)

  • Joan

    Hi. I have a question. Has anyone used a nutri-steamer to extract the quince juice to make jelly? Or are the quinces to dry and have to be made into a sauce and then drained to make jelly? Joan

  • Melanie Lester

    I have just finished making 8lbs of the most gloroiusly coloured quince jelly. I am delighted with it and it looks just like your photos. What a colour, even the scum tastes good, I am going to put it on some rice pudding for my supper. Thank you so much for your recipe.

  • shuna fish lydon

    I like the step by step process. What I like to do is put the peels and cores in a cheesecloth and submerge them in the liquid. The cores are where a portion of the perfume and pectin lie and sometimes the scent of the finished product can be overwhelming. I love Quince, after the hard work of prepping them they really deliver a wondrous product.