This delicious quince jam is the perfect way to make the most of seasonal quinces. This jam is simply made with fresh quinces, sugar, cloves and some lemon juice. It’s the perfect breakfast jam and makes a lovely condiment to serve with savoury dishes.
Quinces are incredibly underrated! They’re nutritious, packed with antioxidants and have a unique texture and a deliciously mild sweetness. Quinces are such a versatile fruit, and I love them in any way shape or form whether that's raw, boiled, baked or made into jam. Quince is a popular fruit in Turkish cuisine, and being from a Turkish background, I’ve tried them in almost every form, and although I think they’re delicious whichever way they’re prepared, I’d say quince jam is my favourite. If you haven’t tried quince before, quince jam is a great place to start.
Why Make this Homemade Quince Jam
It’s a great way to preserve seasonal quinces
Makes the most delicious condiment
Can use used in lots of dessert recipes
It’s easy to make
Can be more cost effective than shop bought jam
No additives, colours of artificial preservatives
Makes a great homemade gift
What does Quince Taste Like?
Raw quinces have a unique grainy texture and a slightly sour and delicately sweet taste. They have a beautiful fragrance with smells like a combination of citrus, apple and a delicate floral hint. Quinces are edible when they’re green on the outside, but you’ll find that the flavour and texture differs quite a bit from ripened yellow quinces. Green quinces can be quite tough to eat raw and can sometimes have a sharp astringent taste, whereas yellow quinces are a little softer and are much sweeter, so if you’re going to try raw quince, definitely opt of the ones that are ripe and yellow, and if you’re going to be cooking them, it won’t make much difference if they’re green or yellow. Once quinces are cooked, the texture softens, they becomes a lovely pinkish colour and the delicious flavours and aromas intensify.
How to Serve Quince Jam
Once your quince jam has set, you can serve it some vegan cheese, or slathered on toast, crumpets, scones, or cakes. It’s also makes a lovely condiment served alongside savoury dishes.
Where to Find Quinces
Quinces are in season from October through to December in the Northern Hemisphere and you can find them during these months at almost every Turkish supermarket. Quinces were a popular fruit in the 1800’s, and people would often make tarts, pies and jellies out of them, so backyard quince tress were rather common. If you live in an older house, you might be fortunate enough to have a quince tree in your garden, if not, then your best bet is to order them online, or to try Turkish or middle-eastern supermarkets.
Do I Need to Add Pectin to this jam?
You will not need pectin for this jam recipe. Quinces and the quince seeds are naturally high in pectin, so will provide enough pectin for the jam to set.
How to Store Homemade Quince Jam
Once you’ve filled your sterilized jars with the jam, put the sterilized lid on at let it cool down at room temperature. Once the jam has cooled down, store in a cupboard, away from direct sunlight for up to a year. Once the jars have been opened, they can for stored for up to a month in the refrigerator, though I have found that some jams tend to last much longer.
Do I have to Use Sterilized Jars?
Absolutely! If you want to give your homemade jam a longer shelf life, then sterilizing your jar is essential as it’ll prevent the formation of mould and bacteria.
Ingredients for the Quince Jam
You’ll only need a few basic ingredients to make this quince jam:
Quince - I'd advise buying good quality, yellow quinces for this recipe. Yellow quinces tend to be quite a bit sweeter than green quinces, but either one will do. Make sure to keep the seeds when cutting the quinces as they will help to give the jam it’s natural red colour.
Granulated sugar - I’ve used regular granulted sugar for this recipe. Sugar is crucial in jam to give it it’s sweet, viscous consistency. It also acts as a preservative, helping to deter the growth of bacteria and mould.
Lemon juice - The lemon juice will help the jam to set and will also give a bit of tartness which will help to balance out the sweetness.
Cloves - the ingredient is optional, but I find that adding a few cloves helps to enhance to flavour and aroma of this quince jam. This jam has quite a mild flavour so if you like you can spice it up by adding different spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon or vanilla.
How to Make Quince Jam
Wash and peel the quinces. Cut the quinces into small 1cm pieces and remove about 8-10 seeds and set them aside (the seeds will help to add colour).
Place the prepared quince and sugar into a large bowl and let it sit for 10-15 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, transfer the quince, sugar, cloves, lemon juice and the quince seeds to a large pot. Pour over the water and bring to a boil, then bring to a medium heat and let it simmer for around 1 hour, stirring often to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.
Add the cloves and let it simmer for amount 20 more minutes, or until quince turns pink and jam sets when tested on a frozen plate (See Notes).
To sterilise your jar, place it on an oven tray and put it in a preheated oven at 160-180ºC for about 15 minutes. To sterilise the jar lid, boil in hot water for about 5 minutes.
Ladle the jam into the hot, sterilized jar and place lid on immediately. Allow the jar to cool, then store at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Once opened, Store the jam in the refrigerator and consume within 10 days.
Tips for Making Quince Jam
Sterilize your jar before poring the jam in – this will give your homemade jam a much longer shelf life.
If you’ve waited for 48 hours and your jam still hasn’t set, then don’t worry as there is a way to fix this. Simply empty the jam back into a pot at heat it up with some more pectin, place back into clean, sterilized jars and try again.
To check that your jam has enough pectin to set, spread one teaspoon of the cooked quince jam onto a plate and place in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Take it out of the freezer and run your finger along the jam – if it’s slightly firm and it creates a ripple effect, then your jam is ready to set.
Store unopened jars of jams at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.