The very first post I ever wrote for my little blog was all about Quince Jelly. I have to admit it wasn’t a very good post because I didn’t actually include the recipe! Therefore, I thought I’d do a better job this time round 🙂 It’s interesting that I didn’t blog about quinces until May last year yet I made my first batch of jelly this year in March. Hmmm…that’s a bit of a Nerdy Thing to say isn’t it! Anyway, here is how I make quince jelly.
First take your quinces and wash them. About 2kg should give you 3 – 4 jars give or take. The best bit about this recipe is that is requires very little preparation and by that I mean you simply chop the quinces roughly and place in a pan (pips, skin and all). Then cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until you have a mass of peachy, pinky pulpiness.
The next stage requires a little bit of structural engineering unless your home is equipped with a jelly stand. the first time I made this jelly I really went to town. I constructed two towers of recipe books; Nigella, Nigel Slater, Annabel Langbein, Leith…. They all jostled together in perfectly formed little towers and upon these edifices I balanced a cane tied with the pulp in a muslin bag. This year I used chairs. Why I didn’t think of chairs last year I don’t know. It’s a lot simpler and requires less lugging and lifting. I’d recommend using chairs rather than cookery books.
So, there you have your little balloon of pulp gently and quietly drip, drip, dripping away overnight. Do not prod or poke the balloon of pulp. It won’t bite you but it will make for a cloudy jelly.
So after a night of dripping you should now have a beautiful pink liquid that smells quince-ily fragrant. You are about to make it even more delectable….
Measure out the juice and for every cup of juice add 1 cup of sugar.
Then gently dissolve the sugar over a low heat. You’ll feel the grittiness of the sugar as you stir to begin with. Once the grittiness disappears you know that the sugar has dissolved. Crank up the heat until you get a good rolling boil going. Ferocious! After 5 minutes start testing for setting point. Don’t be too anxious about this. Pop a saucer in the freezer. Take it out, spoon some jelly onto it. If it crinkles then it’s ready. If it doesn’t boil a bit longer. I once fretted and frowned over my quince jelly setting point and ended up Over Doing It and the result was quince paste in a jar. Incredibly difficult to get out and with the texture of industrial glue. I’m sure I could have re-used it to mend things with.
Pour into sterilized jars and label. Hmmmm….that photo isn’t doing much for my jelly.
Oh yes. Much better. Much more representative of the little jar of sunshine that is Quince Jelly. I made 3 1/2 jars and used the little half jar to smear over a leg of lamb that I’d studded with garlic. I roasted this with veg and some quince that I’d peeled and chopped (like an apple). It was Very Tasty! Roasted quince is sweetly perfumed but has a sour edge which is just yum.
Here’s my little quince tree.
Such a beautiful part of Autumn. The first splash of yellow before the leaves start to turn.
Lots more to harvest. I have a hankering for quince and vanilla sorbet…….