Quince (in English) – Membrillo (in Spanish) – κυδώνι (in Greek) – is a very strange fruit, one that can be used in a variety of dessert-y ways. At the back of the farm there are several quince trees that now (in fall) are full of big, yellow fruits. Some of the fruits are spotted and semi- eaten by insects but still I was able to collect several pounds to share & make jam for Jona & I. What is so weird about the fruit is that although belonging to the apple family, quince cannot be eaten raw. Making jam or jelly with quince requires a cooking and plenty of sugar because quince isn’t sweet at all, even after being cooked.
It is that time of year I make jams or preserve a couple times a week thought the harvest seasons of summer and fall. I want to layout the recipe I use of how you can change the hard, bland fruit of quince to a sweet rose-colored jam:
- 8 cups of quince, separated from the core, peeled, and chopped.
- 2-3 cups of blond sugar, piloncillo or raw sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped ginger
- Remove the peel & cores from the quince, chop up the remaining fruit which will be hard, like an apple. Then simmer them in a bit of water until they turn a rosy color/orange and start to fall apart (about 45 minutes to an hour). Add a bit of water if needed to prevent the pan from running dry.
- Stir the quince to help break them up, then add a bit more water and the chopped up ginger root. I like a low sugar recipe, with 2 cups of more natural sugar like piloncillo or blond sugar. The traditional recipe calls for 3 cups, so that is up to you!
- Cook the quince for another 30/45 minutes until the mixture begins to be jam-like. You should be stirring constantly at this point. Begin preparing your jars and lids
- Then, pour into prepared canning jars and fill them until about 2 centimeters from the top. Store in the fridge to use right away or process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes. Your done!!
You can use these as either use these as jam on toast or as pie filling – we di both and have already stored about a dozen cans for use in winter/spring before fruit is plentiful again.
Extras :: quince in bloom
Do you have quince around where you live? Here in the South, quince trees are full of fruit. And if you live in the northern hemisphere, quince will be blooming around now so, here is a flashback to spring – hopefully these pics can help you identify quince trees near you.