Quince Jam

I had finished canning my apples when the cosmic cowgirl announced the can jam ingredient for November. I wasn’t really interested in canning pears either but I had seen some quince showing up at our farmer’s market. As far as I know I have never eaten quince anything but hey, it’s a challenge right? and those knobby, furry, weird looking fruit sure did smell good so I brought about eight home with me.

309 :: 365

Once the quince were home they took up residence on my counter. They smelled delightful but I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. What I really wanted to make was marmalade but I was daunted by peeling all those oranges. By last Saturday I knew I had to do something as I was headed out of town the next day and had a busy week once I returned. So, quince jam it was and I decided to add a bit of ground white cardamom to spice things up.

DATE: 11/13/2010
FRUIT: about 8 big quince
SOURCE: farmer’s market
COST: $15, I think?

Wash the fuzz off the quince, peel and coarsely chop avoiding the white fibrous core.
In batches pulse the fruit in the food processor to a finer dice. I had about 8 cups finely diced fruit.
Put the fruit in a large non-reactive pot with a 2 tsp calcium water and a little bit of plain water and bring to a simmer.
Simmer the fruit until it starts breaking down, adding more water as necessary to keep from scorching. I simmered my fruit for about 2 hours and added about 1.25 cups water in total.
Mix 2 tsp of pectin and 1 tsp ground white cardamom with 2 cups sugar and add it to the pot.
Stir well to incorporate the sugar.
Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and pack into hot sterilized jars.
Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

YIELD: 6 half-pints
TASTE: It seemed to taste really good. I didn’t want to overspice it since the cardamom flavor will intensify on the shelf so the first taste was very cardamom-y. What I want to know though is why didn’t the jam turn red?



  1. Julia said

    Isn’t that funny? It’s happened to me a lot, no matter how long I cook the fruit sometimes. It might be the type of quince? It also seems random in how deep the color gets. This sounds like a great jam; I love cardamom with quince!

  2. melissa said

    I know that figs need acid- and lots of it- either dry wine or lemon juice- to turn pink once cooked. maybe quince is the same?
    I made apple-pear sauce for nov. can jam. wish I’d gotten hold of some quinces, and putting up some cranberry orange jam on weds.

  3. Rachel said

    I just made quince jam for the first time and mine did not turn red, nor even pink, when I cooked it for an hour and a half easily. If in your recipe you cooked it for 2 hours and still did not get the red color, I can only assume it was the type of quince you and I each used in comparison with other “jammers”. Melissa said that maybe you need more acidity like with figs, but in my recipe for quince jam, I added 1/4 cup lemon juice and once again, did not get the red color even after all the cooking. Deduction= some quince varieties must lack the proper chemical to turn them red?

  4. Andrew said

    Why Quinces Change Colour
    The tannin concentration in a quince, which varies depending on where it’s grown, roughly indicates the amount of leucoanthocyanin present.. The heat and the acids in the fruit convert the colourless leucoanthocyanin pigments to red anthocyanins. Quinces that are rich in leucoanthocyanin become dark rose; those with less leucoanthocyanin may remain creamy white or turn light pink. Cooking in aluminum, which reacts to tannic acid, tends to produce darker results.

    Some fruit require up to FOUR hours to boiling to achieve the colour change – it happens more quickly at higher temperatures (like baking the fruit, or pan-cooking it as in a tarte tartin).

    More at http://recipes.hypotheses.org/159

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