This recipe makes a delicious hard-set clear jelly that it is possible to slice and makes a tasty accompaniment to cheese or meats such as pork.
10 minutes to wash and chop fruit.
Made in three stages: the first is determined by the hardness of fruit, the second is a 12 hour pause, with a final stage of approximately 15 – 20 minutes. Also allow for sterilising and cooling the jars.
- Quince fruits
- Sugar (approx 450g for each 600ml of juice)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Roughly chop the quinces. There is no need to peel or core them as they will be strained later in the process.
- Put the quinces into a preserving or large, heavy bottomed pan and cover them, no more, with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently until the fruit is tender, topping up the water if necessary. Time for this stage may vary considerably, according to how hard the fruit is. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the pulp and liquid into a sterilised muslin cloth and suspend over a pan for about 12 hours, or overnight. Collect the strained juices into a measuring jug once all the liquid has drained through. Note the quantity, since you will need to match it with the relevant proportion of sugar.
- Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. To sterilise the jars and lids, clean and upturn them – lids off – on a baking sheet. Put in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Put the juices with the sugar and the lemon juice into a heavy pan and gently heat, stirring to make sure that the sugar dissolves. Now bring the mixture to the boil and leave on a rolling boil – not too fierce but bubbling gently – for a further ten minutes or so.
- Test for setting by putting a teaspoonful of jelly on to a chilled saucer for 1 minute. Drag your finger lightly over the jam. If it wrinkles, it has reached setting point; if it doesn't, boil for a couple more minutes, then turn off the heat and try again with another chilled saucer.
- When the jelly reaches the setting point, pour it into each jar, seal and label.
What is not widely known is that the more common shruby flowereing quince or Japanese quince also produces fruit and though not as fragrant as the true quince they may be used as a substitute.
Put a couple of plates in the fridge when you get to the testing stage. This allows you to drizzle the jelly on to one and have a spare for further testing whilst you are checking progress on the first.