This is the last quince post for this year! Last year, I struggled with finding the right quince for making jam. If you have ever cooked quince before or made jelly with it, you'll know very well that all quinces are not the same. Sweet ones cook very quickly and turn into mush, and sour ones are firmer and take much longer to cook. Quince has high levels of pectin which diminishes as it ripens so, the trick is to find the ones with perfect levels of pectin for jam and jelly making. This year, a few kilos were brought up from Canterbury from a cousin's tree. These quinces were not photogenic and looked a little neglected and I had enough of cooking with quince this year but they were perfect for jam making so an opportunity not to be missed.
Today is Mother's Day and a perfect day for baking scones which are perfect for maman! one of her favourites. Everytime we cut open a quince, we keep the seeds. Quince seeds are tossed on a tray and left on our kitchen bench for a few days to dry, then stored in a jar. Quince seed tea is perfect for sore throats and coughs in winter. We always have a little jar full of these seeds in preparation for winter ills.
This batch turned out quite chuncky but feel free to cut quince into cubes or it can even be mashed before sugar is added if you prefer a more spreadable jam. There is no need to add pectin to this jam as quince is naturally high in pectin. The deepness of the colour depends on how long it has been simmered and on the quince itself :)
1.5 kg Quince
2-3 cups water
400g White Sugar
Half a Lemon
Half a Vanilla Bean Pod (optional)
- Peel and slice quinces. Save the seeds, dry them on tray and store in a jar.
- In a pot, add water to the quince and simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes (until quince starts to soften). Vanilla is optional and can be added at this stage.
- Add sugar and lemon juice.
- Simmer on low heat until quince turns red and sugar syrup has thickened. This can take upto an hour.