Eyeing my three flowering quince fruits this morning – my entire harvest, softened as they should after sitting for days on the windowsill – I decided it was time to experiment! I was curious, not having tried these before. There aren’t too many jam or jelly recipes for such small quantities so I decided just to draw on past experience and hope for the best … and am pretty pleased with the result!
Flowering Quince Jelly with Apple
1. Wash three flowering quinces well, cut fruit into quarters, de-seed and slice them thinly.
2. Place slices in a pot; add 3/4 cup sugar and approximately 2 cups water.
3. Bring to a boil; continue boiling for 15 minutes.
4. Place a strainer lined with cheesecloth (4 layers) over a bowl; pour boiled fruit and liquid into the strainer, draw all four corners of the cloth up together to form a bag and then tie a length of string around the cloth bag.
6. Suspend the bag (from an upper kitchen cupboard doorknob) over the bowl of liquid; when cool enough to handle, twist and squeeze the bag to force any remaining juice and pectin out and into the bowl.
7. Discard the bag of pulp and return the strained liquid to the pot.
8. Peel and thinly slice a medium apple; add slices to the pot and bring mixture back to a boil.
9. Add sugar to taste (about 1/4 cup – those F.Q.’s are tart!) and boil 10 minutes, approximately, stirring gently and watching carefully, until the apple slices are nearly transparent.
10. Remove from heat, skim off foam and pour, while hot, into a sterile container.
I ended up with about a cup of jelly. It’s very tart with an apple-like flavour that was there even before the apple was added. It’s not unlike a crabapple jelly in sharpness and I find it delicious!
I wasn’t sure how long to boil it since I wasn’t following a recipe and wasn’t sure how it would set, however, if anything, I boiled it down a bit too much because the end product has set up very firm!
(I went with 15 minutes at step 9, and so I have adjusted the time in the recipe above.)
I didn’t bother to cap and process my one jar in a sterile manner since I plan to use it soon – I think it would be great with roast pork or poultry, or on cheese and crackers.
I’m glad I bought that little flowering quince shrub this summer. Hope next year’s harvest is even bigger!
Note: I had thought these fruits were a quince but learned later that the flowering quince is not simply a quince variety, but a completely different species of fruit altogether. I still have no idea whether the flavour of the two are similar or entirely different from each other.