quince jelly

So if you’ve been following the always-fascinating adventures of my life, you’ll know that I inadvertantly grew a bunch of quinces this year.  A bunch may be overstating it:  I had two pounds of quince — read about it here.  (Quince or quinces for plural?)  I knew I had two pounds because I used this cute little scale, rescued from Granny Mary’s house a couple of years ago (who knows if it’s even accurate, but I went with the two pounds).


I knew quince could be used for jelly-making (it’s not really edible in its natural form — too sour), so I performed an exhaustive internet search and found this blog, written by a delightful woman who lives in a 16th century English cottage and grows much of her own food.  Love that.  Also these instructions, which were perfectly written and photographed.  If you ever need to make quince jelly (and I’m sure you will), go with them.

Here are my quince, all cut up in the pot:


After cooking them and extracting the juice (forgot to take that picture), I boiled the juice with sugar, which was kind of a bland color:


Just at the moment when the jelly was “done” (you check the jell by putting a drip on a cold plate), it turned this beautiful amber color:


And yes, that’s the entire yield of this messy, few hour project.  Two cups of quince jelly.

It’s silly, I know, but it was still worth it for me.  Half the fun of making something like jam or jelly is the aesthetic of the process — the smell, the heat, the color.  And Jon thought it tasted just dandy on his PB and J yesterday.

[One note for anyone reading this who might actually try making quince jelly sometime.  Next time, I’ll add more water to my cooked quince before extracting the jelly.  The juice I ended up with was a little thicker than needed, resulting in less jelly with a thicker “set.”  (My jam-making expert mother wondered if the jelly would really “jell” with no pectin, and boy did it ever.)  The “Simply Recipes” instructions I linked to should have clued me in about this, but I didn’t thin the mushy quince as much as they suggested.]


12 thoughts on “quince jelly

  1. rhall

    Liz, you need to comment on the cottageholder’s blog and tell her about your jelly! Or is there some other way you can let her know about your quince jelly post? I have to let McPhees know about this.

  2. Cottage Smallholder

    Hi Liz,

    I am so pleased that you had a go at making this jelly, In the UK, quince jelly is the queen of jellies (king’s don’t even get a look in). Over here people have been cooking quinces for hundreds of years. Quince jelly, quince cheese (membrillo), quince marmalade and jam – the list is endless.

    I made membrillo this week for the first time and ate it for lunch with a strong cheese. It was good.

    Thanks for mentioning my site in your post and commenting on my post. It’s great that people thousands of miles apart can make contact over the simple quince.

  3. Sarah

    Liz, you’re now famous worldwide! I definitely think you should go for the membrillo next year! Where do you get your energy?!

  4. liz Post author

    Mom, as you can see, the cottage smallholder found me — now we have a British friend (sort of)!
    Christina, sort of like a sour apple. Sort of. If I had more jelly, I’d mail you a sample. Maybe next year.
    To the cottage smallholder, you’ve become a new favorite of mine as I am quite impressed with both your locale and your lifestyle. Someday I hope I can come to England and see the lovely land you live in.
    Sarah, I don’t have tons of energy. I’m just good at mis-directing it. The morning I made the jelly my kitchen floor was a combination sticky/gritty (actually, it still is) and I was still in my pajamas at 11:30, as were my children.

  5. Anne

    Liz, I’m still in my pajamas at 3 p.m. on a LOT of days. And I have one kid. Yeee-ikes! You are a rockstar. I think “mis-directing” energy is actually really good/healthy. I say to too many projects because “I should clean my house first.” That’s lame. And to Liz and Mom, can’t we get Rog to sponser a family trip to England? Who’s with me?

  6. Traci

    Liz, great job on the jelly. You’ve sparked my interest to at least consider at some future date to make jelly. (maybe not quince, but something :)
    And to Liz, Rosie, & Anne, Mark and I are headed to jolly ole’ England in December and you are all more then welcome to come along (that is if Rog concents, I ain’t no heart surgeon! :) But really, all of Marks family is there, and so accomidations aren’t a problem. They would LOVE the Hall crew!
    Oh and Liz, Marks family calls a binkie a “dummy”. And they all make fun of me for calling it a binkie. Hope you are getting more sleep lately.

  7. Taylor

    Congrats Liz. Two cups may seem not worth the effort, but I just love to experience new things, especially edible things. My grandma’s quince bush yielded precisely two fruits–certainly not worth jellying, but I did taste my first quince. No wonder they get made into jelly.

  8. sillyjillybean

    Liz, you star. Love the like to the cottage lady and a response!!! Kudos!!! And, as far as the still in the pajamas day, ask your mom, she found me in the same pajamas 2 days in a row, without even showering, I loved my cocoon of a house on a rainy day and my project was bringing out Andrew’s old 2T-3T clothes for Ethan. Talk about walking down memory lane!

  9. Paribanou

    I love you blog on Quince, my favorite fruit. I picked over 300 Quince the past 2 days off my 50 year old tree. Of course I gifted many of them to my friends here from Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland but tomorrow I shall start cooking. Dug out all the jars and ran thru DW tonight. Getting up early and wearing long sleeves because quince spits! Glad to see all you folks who appreciate the Queen of Fruits. Each one on my tree weighed at least 1 pound.


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