I made Quince jelly for the first time last year –  a modest two jar’s worth.  A month (and two empty jars) later, I wish I had made more.  The brief season of Quinces was at an end, and so was the delicious, jewel-like jelly, that went so sumptuously with meat, bread, ice cream – almost anything!

Today, I saw the first Quinces of autumn, piled high in fragrant mounds, and I dived right in.

And here’s the best bit – you can make quince paste from the same batch of fruit.  (same prep, same cost).  Doesn’t cost the earth, or what??

So here’s how:

First the jelly:

Take however many quinces you feel like, and cut them up into small pieces.  Don’t peel, core or anything, but the smaller the better when cutting.  Just wash off any of their fluff (brown fluff is normal on the outside of quinces).

Cover them with the minimum amount of water (so they are JUST covered).  And simmer for one hour.

Drain, and keep the water for the Jelly, and keep the fruit for the Paste.

Weigh the water (which will look like pale pinkish dishwater) and add the same amount of sugar.  About 500g for every 500ml.  Add the juice of a lemon.

And then boil this until it reaches 103C.  And that’s your jelly.

quince jelly doesnt cost the earth homemade

Bottle in sterilized jars.

It seems impossible that a fruit that looks like a hard apple could produce a jelly as luminescent and brilliant as the most perfect ruby.  How does that happen?  You won’t believe the iridescence of this divine preserve – or its fragrant, sweet tart flavour.


The paste recipe comes in the next post…