Quince Jam

I have to admit that I am currently experiencing a minor quince fixation. It seems as though every time I pass by Anastasio’s Produce (9th & Christian) I cannot refrain from purchasing a half dozen or so of these knobby and somewhat irregularly-shaped fruits for the purposes of experimentation. I feel the culinary potential for quince is unrealized, though, I’ve thus far really only discovered three uses for them: in the forms of paste and jam; and piled in a bowl as an unusual yet elegant seasonal centerpiece. Moreover, quinces cannot even be eaten raw–their flesh is rock hard and tastes incredibly tart when uncooked. I can thus only speculate on my recent attraction: perhaps I’m addicted to the refreshing citrusy aroma that fills my apartment when I leave a bowl undisturbed on my kitchen table for a few days; or perhaps I enjoy witnessing the dramatic color transformation from pale yellow to bright red which takes place after many hours of cooking; or perhaps subconsciously I feel compelled to pay homage to the Greek ancestry we share by incorporating quince into my diet. Whatever the reason, I can say with certainty that I simply enjoy the taste of quince, especially in the form of jam. This jam is of course delicious spread on toast with a little butter, but also makes a nice substitute for raspberry jam as the filling in Linzer cookies. Enjoy!

Quince Jam

Yield=40 4-oz jars

16 quinces
1 lemon, halved
1 bottle or about 3 1/4 cups white wine (I used an $8 bottle of Riesling)
4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean

Wash quinces and remove any stickers, fuzz or leaves. Cut straight down around the core to remove the flesh, then cut into big chunks and discard the core. Place quince pieces in a large heavy-bottomed pot and cover with 12 cups of water and the lemon. Gently simmer until the pieces are knife tender, about 1½ hours.
Strain the quince, reserving the cooking liquid, and discard the lemon. Pass the flesh through the fine disk of a food mill and combine with the reserved cooking liquid in the same large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the bottle of white wine and 4 cups of sugar. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds, and place both the pod and seeds into the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer and let cook for 2-3 more hours until the mixture has reduced by a few inches and color has changed to a deep red hue.
The jam is now ready to be canned. I followed the canning instructions on this website: www.homecanning.com. It is quite a laborious process, but ultimately worth the effort: I now have 40 little jars of jam to give as gifts for the upcoming holidays.


  1. Ashley says

    Love the Blog and love the chef. FYI, Alexandra recently prepared all the food for my 50 person baby shower. Everything was INCREDIBLE. All made from scratch (even the breads)to impeccable perfection.
    Here is what she prepared for me (although she gave me a million menu ideas to choose from):

    Mediterranean Spread:
    Hummus and Spinach-Artichoke Dip served with Pita Chips
    Bread Sticks

    Assortment of Mini Tea Sandwiches:
    1) Prosciutto with Fig Jam and Marscapone Cheese
    2) Tomato, Basil Pesto and Mozzarella (maybe oven-dried tomatoes in November)
    3) Cured Salmon, Red onion and Lemon-Caper Cream Cheese
    4) Turkey, Apple and Cheddar
    5) Chicken Salad with Grapes, Walnuts and Apples

    Assortment of Salads:
    1) Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken
    • Romaine Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Red Onion, Feta Cheese, Scallions and Cucumbers
    • Chive- Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
    2) Mixed Greens with Candied Pecans, Pears or Apples, Gorgonzola or Goat Cheese, Grapes and Dried Cherries
    • Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette

    1) Trio of Mini Cookies:
    • Chocolate Chip, Jam Thumbprint and Peanut Butter
    2) Trio of Mini Bars:
    • Brownies, Raspberry Crumb Bars and Lemon Squares

    I would highly recommend using Alexandra for any party, event or special gathering in the Philadelphia area. Even use her for a special dinner for a small group from home (a great idea for a birthday present for someone special).

  2. Claudia says

    I don´t know if your quinces taste the same that ours, here in Chile. But we ate them in paste, jam, coocked, in kuchen, in empanadas, and raw of course! with salt, is the most old and traditional fruit in the backback of school kids.
    Love your blog…Thanks!!

    • says

      Claudia — I am pretty certain that the quinces I used to buy were flown in from Chile! Before I got into the local-food movement, I would order cases of quince to experiment with. It was such a ball. Now, I would feel too guilty thinking about the food miles. I am jealous of your bounty, and love hearing that you can eat them raw with salt…amazing! I had no idea. Thanks for writing in!

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