Friday 8 January 2016



For this recipe, I used Japanese quinces - not the true quince, from local bushes of Chaenomeles, which grow in gardens throughout the UK

1 kg Quinces (Japonica fruit) or as many as you have. 
1 large lemon
Sugar (450g/1lb to every 600mls/1pint liquid)

Wash the quince fruit, chop roughly, place in pan including core and pips (preferably not an aluminium pan), just cover with water; add the juice of 1 large lemon, bring to the boil and simmer  for 1 hour or until the fruit is soft. 

If you don’t have enough quinces, use what you have and you can add chopped apples (do not remove peel) and this will still provide a quince perfumed jelly.

When the fruit is soft, mash against sides of pan with a wooden spoon or mash with a potato masher to get a thick pulp. Allow to cool slightly.

Put pulp in jelly bag and leave to strain for at least 12 hours.  Resist the temptation to squeeze the bag unless you want a cloudy jelly. After straining, the contents of the bowl will appear cloudy but this will miraculously clear when you boil with sugar.

After straining, measure the quantity of juice and pour into pan. Add sugar (450g/1lb to every 600mls/1pint liquid), heat gently, stirring slowly until all the sugar has dissolved.  Bring to a rapid boil and boil for about 10 minutes or until setting point has been reached.

Test for setting by placing a teaspoon of the liquid on a very cold dry saucer and allow to cool, if a skin forms and it wrinkles when you draw your finger across, it has reached setting point.  If it does not, boil for a few minutes and test again.

When setting point is reached, skim off any foam which has formed on top of the boiling liquid. Have ready some screw top jars which have been sterilised, pour in the hot jelly and screw on lids whilst still hot.

If you didn’t squeeze the jelly bag you will have a beautiful, clear jelly – if you did squeeze, your jelly will be opaque (but taste just as good).  The jelly is excellent on toast for breakfast or tea or served with roast meats or strong hard cheese.

John Austin

October 2015, Hove

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