Tuesday, 21 October 2014

quince heaven

Thank you very much for all your kind comments on my last post, I am delighted that you all like my blog to be the way it is! Thank you also for  your happy blog birthday wishes. This was actually back in August but I somehow never got around to mentioning it until now.

A very warm welcome to all my new followers! I am glad you have found me here and hope to see you back soon.



On to today's post. I have had a quince tree in my garden for a few years now. The first two years it didn't fruit. Then I had a bumper crop of quinces which I made into jars and jars of soft wobbly jelly. I also gave plenty of quinces away. Unfortunately, there has been no repeat of this year of abundance, we had Spring storms during the crucial blossom time with the surviving few blooms falling off later. The tree is at the top of our back garden where it is very exposed to the howling Scottish winds. The last of the jelly was long gone and I was hoping for at least a few fruit this year. I was thrilled to find 4 quincelets, all of which survived into quince adulthood. Hurrahh. There were small ones and two normal sized ones.




I usually cut the quince up, core and all, and cover the pieces up with a little water, bring this to the boil and leave to simmer until the chunks are really soft, to the point of disintegrating. I then strain the pulp through a muslin without squeezing it and discard the pulp. There wasn't much juice.... but then I read in my Good Food cookery book that it is possible to do the cooking process twice by adding more water to the strained pulp and simmer this once more to extract more quince juices. I did this because I only had what you see on the picture. I always add a red skinned apple to get a pleasing jelly colour.

I measured the strained juice and added 450 g of sugar per 600 ml juice. Quince contain plenty of pectin and in principle, normal sugar is fine. I only had enough normal sugar for half the amount and resorted to using jam sugar that I found at the back of my cupboard. I was too lazy to walk to the corner shop to buy some sugar.... After the sugar was dissolved at a low temperature, I turned the heat up and rapidly boiled the syrup for approximately 10 minutes. Somehow with quince jelly, I never get a set when testing but experience has taught me than it takes about 20 minutes for a good jelly when using normal sugar. I reduced the time randomly by half because I used jam sugar.

I got several jars of delicately wobbly jelly! Yesterday my mum made fresh scones for tea and I tried it. It tastes divine and the quince flavour is strong despite the double extraction of the quince pulp.


 
I hope there is enough to last until next year! I am optimistic for a big harvest.
Quince jelly is my absolute favourite jelly ever. What is yours?
 
Have a lovely midweek. Cx



23 comments:

  1. sounds delicious. I've never had quince jelly, but I'm very fond of crab apple x

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  2. Doesn't it look a pretty colour in the jars? I love quince jelly too, on crackers with a tangy cheese aswell as on scones. xx

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  3. I keep meaning to pick up the quince that have fallen from our tree (after today's winds I don't suppose there'll be many left hanging) and now your post has inspired me to get to action. This jelly looks divine.

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  4. Well, quince jelly obviously! I have found over the years that my quince tree's harvest is variable too. Last year I inundated, the year before i had the same problem with spring winds blowing the blossom off before it could form fruit. This year I have had just enough quinces -not too many and not too few. I'm glad to hear that double extraction works so well, I've wondered about trying it in lean years. I never get a set when testing either, I do exactly the same as you and it's always fine.

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  5. I love quince jelly too, my mother used to make it when I was little, but I haven't had any since. That exquisite flavour is a very distant memory now, but it's exactly the kind of tangy taste I like. Bramble jelly was a favourite too when I was little. This year I have windfall pear and apple jelly and also grape jelly that has a really strong flavour to it. Neither as good as quince jelly though. CJ xx

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  6. I have never had a quince and couldn't even tell you what one looked like - so now I know! Yellow and bumpy looking. I'm not really a jelly girl now, but growing up it was definitely strawberry - never grape. Those seemed to be the only two choices for our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

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  7. I have never had quince jelly, but I would be willing to try it. My favourite jelly is bramble jelly.

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  8. I made quince jam for the very first time a few months ago after spotting a "free" sign by a box of them. Can't believe how good quince tastes, so unassuming and so very pretty in a jar. xo

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  9. Hey Christina,
    I have never had quince jelly, but may look out for it at future famers markets and the like. I made some delicious rhubarb and strawberry jelly this summer. It has that slightly tart kick that I like in a preserve. I'll definitely make it again.
    Leanne xx

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  10. Oh my, that quince jelly looks amazing. Beautiful colour. And so good with scones! xxx

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  11. That quince jelly looks wonderful. I recently discovered a quince tree in the gardens of our local health spa. By the time I could find a gardener to ask if I could pick some most of the fruit was rotten, which was such a shame. I'll know for next year.

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  12. The jelly looks absolutely gorgeous! Bet the taste is divine!

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  13. I have never tasted quince jelly, it looks delicious.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  14. I've never tried quince jelly but I'm sure it's lovely. I like rosehip jelly, bramble jelly and blackcurrant jelly. Just about any jelly really!! With a good scone.

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  15. I have never tried it so that has intrigued and surprised me (for I am such a forager) but I love gooseberry jelly for the taste and the fact that I don't have to top and tail the bloody things!!! Jo x

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  16. I've always wanted to taste quince... it reminds me of The Owl and the Pussycat. One day I'll find some jelly and buy it!
    Bramble jelly's my favourite thus far, and the only variety I've ever made myself.
    S x

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    1. My youngest loves the Owl and the pussycat. I've never tasted quince in any form. Or to my knowledge eaten with a runcible spoon.

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  17. Nice to meet you, Christina! :)
    I have never had quince jelly, but it sure looks delicious. I see you are en expat too. I moved from Italy to Scotland 6 years ago. Congratulations on your first year of blogging. It's fun and you get to meet so many wonderful people from all over the world! I've been blogging for 10 years but I've become a wee bit less consistent with time - I used to blog every single day, but not anymore.
    Will be back soon to see more of your blog.

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  18. I've never tried quince, but I'd definitely be willing to give that lovely jelly a try, it looks delicious.

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  19. Your jelly is very pretty! Our market had quinces in this year and I was tempted to buy some to try making jelly (are they ever used for anything other than jelly?). Now I wish I had!

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  20. I have never tasted quince jelly but it looks and sounds wonderful.

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  21. Your quince jelly is so pretty!! I hope that it lasts just long enough for you! Oh, and as your blogaversary was in August, Happy Blogaversary plus two months! xx

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  22. Yum! (I'm craving quince jelly now.)

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx