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.]