Quince Marmalade and Quince Jelly

Made with apple-shaped quince that was shredded and slow-cooked, this marmalade is delicious. Quince starts out yellow, with drab flesh that needs to be doused in lemon quickly to avoid browning. It then magically transforms into a beautiful, glistening rose-colored substance. I adapted this recipe from David Lebovitz’s cookbook Ready for Dessert. He in turn got it from Helen Witty’s Fancy Pantry.

The addition of the lemon to the pot probably increases the setting of the natural pectin of the quince so I wouldn’t omit that step. The marmalade took about an hour and a half to reduce and set, so in the future I might either reduce the volume of simple syrup or use a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. As it was, I used 1½ pounds of quince compared to David’s pound, so I already got some reduction in the proportion of syrup to fruit. I can imagine this with cheese and crackers or lining a tart or filling a cookie, or spooned alongside some roasted roots.

Since the quince marmalade calls for peeling and coring the fruit, I put the scraps to good use by adding them to a batch of quince jelly, which uses the whole fruit.

Quince Marmalade adapted from David Lebovitz, Ready for Dessert

4 c water

3 c sugar

1 lemon, juiced, hulls reserved

3 large or 2 medium apple quinces

Bring the water and sugar to a boil to make simple syrup. Peel, core and quarter the quince and grate them into a large shallow bowl containing the lemon juice. Quickly add them to the boiling syrup. Add the lemon hulls to the pot and turn the heat down so that the mixture is bubbling somewhere between a simmer and a gentle boil. Cook until you get a gel (220 degrees on a candy thermometer or use the wrinkle test by dropping some marmalade on a frozen plate). Spoon into prepared hot canning jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes after the water returns to a boil. Remove the lid, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, and then remove the jars to a spot where they can sit undisturbed until cool. Alternatively, store the marmalade in the refrigerator and use within 6 months.  Makes 4 eight-ounce jars or 8 four-ounce jars.

Quince Jelly

3 c water (or more, see note)

1 lemon juiced, hulls reserved

3 apple quinces

Optional: Quince scraps from the quince marmalade

Sugar

Add the lemon juice and hulls to the water. Chop the quince (skins, cores and all) and add to the water along with the quince scraps (actually, you should have the acidulated water ready for the scraps since quince browns very quickly). Make sure the water covers the fruit. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook slowly until tender. Carefully transfer the mixture to a jelly bag suspended over a bowl and let drain overnight, or for at least 4 hours until it stops dripping.

Measure the liquid mixture and add ¾ cup sugar to each cup of liquid. And bring to a boil. Cook until you get a gel (220 degrees on a candy thermometer or use the wrinkle test by dropping some jelly on a frozen plate). Spoon into prepared hot canning jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes after the water returns to a boil. Remove the lid, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, and then remove the jars to a spot where they can sit undisturbed until cool. Alternatively, store the marmalade in the refrigerator and use within 6 months.  Makes 3-4 eight-ounce jars or 6-8 four-ounce jars.

Categories: PreservingTags: ,

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