The best and only quince jelly recipe you will ever need!
Make your own vegan quince jelly with 3 ingredients and without artificial pectin added.
You get all the info you need below in the post to suceed!
What is quince?
Quince is a pear-like fruit. In fact it looks like a cross between a pear and an apple.
It mostly grows in temperate climates and quinces are harvested in late September/mid October.
The fruits are hard on the inside and are not meant to be consumed raw.
In fact, the flavors and smell only emerge when cooked. The fruit needs to be boiled where it will start to turn pink and red.
Quinces are rich in natural pectin and that's what you need to set your jelly. Because once set, your jelly will last for months!
Quince Jelly vs Quince paste
Quince jelly is a popular clear preserve used over toasts and in baked pastries and cakes. It can be spread and it appears like a jello pudding.
Quince paste is a specialty from spain and portugal (and in those language speaking countries), where it is also known as membrillo.
The paste is basically a quince jelly that is left to cook way longer over the stovetop until it thickens. This is then spread over a parchment paper to cool.
Once cooled it appears firm but it can be easily cut through. This is then enjoyed like a candy.
A similar "dessert" or candy is the Guava paste, which is prepared the same way.
How to make quince jelly?
Making jelly is easy but it will require some effort.
I have outlined the process here so that you get an idea what to expect.
The complete recipe with adjustable US and metric measurements is located at the bottom of this post in the recipe card. The video is the pop up.
Brush your fruits to get rid of the furry stuff on them.
Cut fruits into large chunks and cut out and discard the stem and black spoiled parts.
Place fruits in a large pot over the heat and cover with the water.
Bring to a boil and cook fruits until soft and cooked through. This is to extract the fruit juices into the water.
Strain fruits with the help of a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Collect the juice.
Place the juice back into the clean pot, add the sugar and heat up again.
Cook down jelly until set. Test if set (see tips further below).
Pour jelly into jar, after testing if set, when still hot and liquid.
Close with lid tight and turn upside down to create vacuum.
Turn back when the jar is still warm or else the jelly will set in the jar and you will have an empty space in the jar bottom.
Store on a shelf in a dry and cool place, away from direct sunlight.
Once you unseal and open the jar, keep in the fridge.
Unsealed jars are good for over 10 months if your jelly set properly and if you worked in a clean environment with sterilized jars and lids.
You can pep up your quince jelly to all it your own.
Add any of the following spices or ingredients in small quantities (taste test and adjust to your needs):
- star anise - for a licorice touch
- chilli pepper - to give it a hot tingle
- rose water - for a middle eastern effect
- vanilla - to add warm comforting flavors
- green cardamom - because I like that 🙂
Uses and Serving Suggestions
Normally we simply use quince jelly over a slice of bread or hot toast in the morning for breakfast.
Yet, it has some more practical and delicious uses.
We use it in pastries, cookie, muffins, and cakes wherever applicable instead of other jellies or even instead of an apricot jam when layering cakes.
I had someone tell me on Pinterest that they used quince jelly in their thumbprint cookies. I love the idea!
You can use your quince jelly to coat meat cuts too before you roast them, such as lamb, ribs or a pork roast.
You can use your quince jelly spread of baked brie too or serve it with your cheese board as a sweet sauce.
I know that you might worry about the setting point when preparing this jelly.
Here are my tips to help you get it right the first time.
Quince Skin and Seeds
Don't peel or cut out the seeds in your fresh and whole quince fruits.
Both are stuffed with natural pectins and you need that to set your jelly.
Don't ever reduce the sugar quantity in your jelly.
The sugar is what makes the jelly set and it helps in preserving your quince jelly.
Cooking Heat,Time and Vessel
Cook over a slow to medium heat setting for as long as need be.
The higher the temperature the faster it will cook and set but it can overcook easily too.
I advice to use a copper pan because the heat is equally spread.
A copper pan can't be used on an induction cooker but on a normal stove. Hence why you see me using a stainless teal pot in the video.
The french use copper pans to prepare jam and jellies.
Testing the Jelly Setting
Use a candy thermometer to determine the setting point.
I don't use one because I'm experienced but if you are not sure and you need some assistance, I recommend you test with a candy thermometer. (other readers found this helpful too)
Do the ice cold plate test too.
That's how I test if my jelly is set.
Hot jelly is liquid because it's hot, so when you drop some on an ice-cold plate it cools down instantly, revealing it's true consistency.
So if the jelly doesn't run on the plate it is ready.
If your jelly is running, cook it further down for another 5 to 10 minutes and repeat the test.
The setting temperature is 105 Celsius/220 Fahrenheit. But I recommend that you do the ice-cold plate test too (see in the post on top under setting).
After extracting the juice and cooking with sugar, about 1 hour in average. That is not set in stone! Quince jelly always appears liquid when it's cooking hot, which can be misleading. So do the test!
During the cooking process of your quince juice with the sugar, you will notice a lot of foam forming. You need to remove the foam with a skimmer. Your jelly can also turn out cloudy if you didn't use a fine mesh strainer. If your strainer is not fine enough, use a fine cheesecloth.
No you can't. It's a jelly, and the sugar is the main ingredient that will set it. You could look for a recipe that uses pectin sugar but that isn't healthier. If you are worries about eating jelly because you are diabetic, I can only say that when eating jelly you need to limit how much you use on your toast. I use about 1 tsp on average and a tsp contains way less sugar compared to a cake or chocolate.
Dear Reader, did you try the Recipe?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!
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Quince Jelly Recipe
- 3.3 pounds Quince fresh, cleaned and cut
- ½ gallon Water
- 2.8 pounds Sugar *see Notes
- Pick your fruits and brush them to get rid of the furry stuff on the fruits.
- Cut off spoiled black parts and stems. Cut fruits into large chunks and collect in a bowl.
- Place quince chunks into a large jam pot and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil and cover your pot to cook your fruits through. The quince need to be soft cooked so that the fruits infuse the water.
- Take fruits through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Press fruits to extract juice. Collect quince juice in a large container.
- Take the extracted quince juice back to the heat to the cleaned pot and add sugar.
- Heat up and bring to a rolling boil.
- Reduce heat and keep over a medium to slow heat setting. Cook down your jelly until it's set, this can take about 40-60 minutes.
- Skim off foam all the time during the cooking process. That way your jelly will remain clear.
- Test if jelly is set with the help of a thermometer and with an ice-cold plate. Drop hot jelly on an ice-cold plate and move around the plate to see if it's running. If it doesn't run it's set. Candy thermometer setting temperature is 220° Fahrenheit/ 105° Celsius.
- Pour set jelly into clean sterilized jars up to the rim.
- Pour some rum, whiskey or similliar into clean sterilized lids to kill remaining bacteria and close jars with the lids. Turn jars upside down to create a vacuum. Turn jars back when you can touch the hot jars again.
- Store jelly jars in a dry and cool environment, away from direct sunlight. (see storing instructions in post).
- Use regular sugar, not pectin sugar.
- The ratio should be 1:1 quince juice and sugar. So if your quince juice turns out to be less than 1.3 quart/liter, adjust the sugar weight to the same weight measurement. example 1 quart/liter quince juice = 2.2 pounds/1 kg sugar
- 1 serving = 1 teaspoon, 100 servings = 5 jars
- Fine-Mesh Sieve or Cheesecloth