Many years ago we stayed at a B&B and enjoyed homemade quince jelly on fresh crusty toast. It was one of those meals that became a treasured memory. We planted a quince tree in our backyard and have been making our own quince jelly for the past few years. It is an annual autumn activity that we enjoy as a family, picking the fruit from our tree and then making the jelly. It’s best made over a weekend or when you’re home for 2 days as it is a long process but worth it.
- 2 kgs quince just ripe
- 3 lemon
- 3 ltrs cold water
- 2kg sugar, you won’t use all of it
You’ll need 6-7 400g jars with lids – sterilised
- Remove the external ‘fur’ from the quinces by rubbing them with a dry towel. Pour the water into a large deep pot.
- Thinly slice the peel of one lemon and add to the water.
- Squeeze the lemons to obtain approximately half a standard size glass of lemon juice. Add the lemon juice to the water.
- Top and tail the quinces and remove any bruised or damaged parts of the fruit. Cut the quinces up into cubes and add to the pan containing the water and lemon juice.
- Place the pan on high heat and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and allow the fruit and water to simmer for approximately 1½ hours. Stir occasionally but leave the lid on the pot.
- Remove the lid and simmer for a further 15 minutes or so until the fruit and extracted juice is a rosy pink colour.
- Prepare a second pot with muslin cloth suspended into the centre of the pot using appropriate clips or plastic clothes pegs, we use bulldog clips.
- Ladle the cooked fruit and extracted juice onto a muslin cloth or jelly bag suspended over the second pot.
- Allow the fruit and juice to drip through the muslin cloth at least overnight, preferably for 24 hours.
- Remove the suspended muslin cloth and discard the quince fruit (do not squeeze the cloth to extract more juice as it causes the jelly to be cloudy).
- Measure the juice into the original pot. For each 500 mL of juice measure out 500 g of sugar into metal trays. Warm the sugar in the oven.
- Place the pot with the measured juice on high heat. As the juice nears boiling point add the warmed sugar and stir until fully dissolved.
- Progressively remove any scum off the top whilst the jelly continues to boil. Boil for approximately 20 – 25 minutes.
- Test if the jelly has reached setting point by using a jam thermometer or add a small spoonful of the mixture to a saucer.
- Remove jelly from the heat and pour into warmed sterilised jars.
- Cover the filled jars with a clean cloth and allow them to cool totally before placing sterilised lids on the jars.