Quince Jam

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Makes

    1.5 litres

Appears in

My mother-in-law taught me a love of this jam. I like having a few jars of this in the house to see us through those early cooler months just after the quinces have made their brief appearance.

Ingredients

  • 2 kg(4 lb8 oz /about 6 medium-sized) quinces
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • about 700 g(1 lb9 oz) sugar

Method

Rinse the quinces, rubbing their skins well. Put into a saucepan with enough cold water to just cover them and add the lemon juice. Boil for 30 minutes. Take off the heat and leave the quinces in the liquid overnight.

Drain the fruit, keeping the liquid. Peel and core the quinces and then cut them into chunks. Put them in a large heavy-based pan and add the sugar. Measure the cooking liquid and top up with water until you have litres(87 fl oz/10 cups), then add this to the quinces. Bring to the boil and, when the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat to low and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours until the quinces have turned deep purply red and blended with the syrup.

Meanwhile, sterilize your jars for when you have a panful of hot jam ready to bottle. It is always best to use several small jars, rather than one or two big ones. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water, or in the dishwasher, and rinse well in hot water. Then put the jars (and the lids) on a baking tray and leave in a 120°C (250°F/Gas ½) oven for at least 20 minutes, or until you are ready to use them. (Don’t use a tea towel to dry them — they should dry thoroughly in the oven.)

Test that the jam is ready by dropping a heaped teaspoonful onto a plate. When you slightly tilt the plate, the jam should not run off, but cling and slowly glide down. If the jam isn’t ready, put it back on the heat for a while.

When the jam is ready, remove it from the heat. If you like your jam smooth, mash it with a potato masher or purée with a hand-held blender. Spoon into the warm sterilized jars and close the lids tightly. Turn the jars upside down, cover with a tea towel and leave to completely cool (this creates a vacuum that can be seen on the lid). Turn upright and store in a cool dark place. The jam will keep for 10–12 months before it is opened. After opening, you need to keep it in the fridge.