Soft Set Quince Jelly
Updated: Apr 12
Quince are a strange and wonderful fruit. I thought too much about what I was going to do with them but then I realised I should just simplify it and do a good old fashioned jelly. The quantities for this recipe seem so vague at first but the measurement of sugar is done by weight of liquid and the liquid is measured by amount of quince. I will put guidelines and we will take it from there...
A heap of quince (around 15-20)
Sugar (we will need at least 1.5kg)
Water (about 2 litres -ish)
Wash the quince under cold running water then cut into quarters. We don't need to peel or core as we want to extract as much natural pectin out as possible and it will be strained.
Place the quince quarters in a heavy based pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil with a lid on then turn down to a simmer. Simmer the fruit until its soft and falling apart. This will take about 45 minutes or so. Once this is ready, place a piece of muslin in a colander or sieve over a bowl so that it fits snugly. Dampen the muslin a bit so it sits in the colander and clings a bit to the sides. Pour in the simmered quince and leave to hang for up to 4 hours. We need all the good liquid to come through the muslin. I covered it and left it overnight to hang.
Once we have collected all the liquid, weigh it out. I managed to get 1800ml of liquid so for the sugar, I weighed out 1500g (its about 500g for every 600ml of liquid). Place the liquid and the sugar in a clean, heavy based pot and stir over a medium heat. Stir occasionally while it comes up to a boil. Once boiling, turn all the way down to a low simmer. Boiling will cause the scum to rise and this needs to be removed to achieve a beautifully clear jelly at the end. Take a jug and fill with about 200ml of water. Take a small ladle and skim the scum off the top of the liquid. Keep the ladle in the jug of water close by. The water will essentially rinse the scum off the ladle each time you skim. Leave the pot to tick away until the consistency is reached. You don't need to stir it at all from this point on but you will need to skim off any scum that pops up along the way.
The simmering process can take a while and it is better to do it slower than at a rapid pace. After about an hour, check the jelly for the right consistency. The way to check is to place a side plate into the fridge and leave to chill. Once cold, spoon some liquid onto the plate and leave to set. It should take a moment and it will have a soft gelatinous texture but also hold itself.
Pour the jelly into clean, warm and sterilised jars. Leave to cool to room temperature. Once completely cooled, lid them up and leave in a cool, dark place.
I store the opened jar (the one im currently indulging in) in the fridge. Jelly is a perfect breeding ground for nasties so best to keep in the fridge if opened.