Thursday, 19 April 2012

Q is for Quince

Quince belongs to the same family as apples and pears; its shape is similar to a pear, but larger. It has lumpy yellow skin and hard flesh that is quite bitter so shouldn’t be eaten raw. When fully ripe, the quince has a wonderful perfume. Quince paste or ‘membrillo’ is a popular accompaniment to cheese in Spain.

Recipe for Quince Jam


  • 2 kg quince
  • water
  • 1.6 kg sugar


1. Peel, core and quarter some of the poorer, less ripe quinces and place in a large pan.

2. Just cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook until the quinces are soft.

3. Strain off the juice and reserve.

4. Rub the cooked quinces through a sieve.

5. Peel, core and quarter the remaining quinces and place in the pan with the sieved pulp.

6. Add the reserved juice and cook until soft. Stir to make sure the pulp doesn't burn.

7. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved then bring to a fast boil.

8. Cook until setting point is reached. It should be very firm and a dark red colour.

9. To tell when setting point has been reached, remove the pan from the heat and put a little marmalade on a chilled saucer. As it cools, the marmalade should begin to set, will wrinkle slightly and will remain in two separate parts when you draw your finger through it. If using a sugar thermometer it will read 104-106C.

10. Decant into sterilised jars, cover and seal tightly. Label and store in a cool, dry place. 


  1. I've heard of it, but don't think I've ever tried it.

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  2. Quince jelly (jam) is simply divine.

  3. They sell slabs of quince jelly here to eat with the fresh goat cheese. For me, a quince in an apple pie makes all the difference, as long as you remember to cook the quince first!