This floral scented vanilla quince jelly is sweet and smooth. It’s delicious on spread on pancakes, toast, or with crackers and cheese.
This vanilla quince jelly is so good and simple to make. In fact, it is one of the easiest ways to preserve quince, as it doesn’t require any peeling or coring.
It’s winter now in NZ so I’m a little bit late writing this post up as quince is abundant in autumn. However, it’s better late than never!
I don’t have a quince tree myself but my in-laws do and I’m so grateful I can help myself to excess fruits.
They’re such a beautiful tree, especially in spring with the gorgeous quince blossoms. Quince are hardy and easy to grow and provide an abundance of heavily scented fruits.
You can’t eat quince raw though, they’re much too astringent. However, they bake, poach and stew well, and make fantastic jelly. The quince is very high in pectin which is how the jelly can set so beautifully.
How to make Quince Jelly
In today’s post, I’ll walk through how I turn some of my quinces into the most delicious vanilla quince jelly. Or if you want to make it pure quince jelly, just omit the vanilla.
BOILING THE QUINCES
Quince jelly is made by simmering quince pieces in water until they are very soft. I add a lemon at this stage too for extra flavour.
You could leave the quince whole when doing this, but roughly chopping them makes it faster and easier to fit more quince in a pot.
Once the quince are soft and cooked through they become a gorgeous peach colour.
STRAINING THE QUINCES
These quince pieces, the lemon and all the cooking liquid is then poured into a cheesecloth or muslin bag, to drain slowly over the next 8-12 hours.
I simply line a metal colander with the cheesecloth and balance this over a large bowl to collect the liquid. Tying the cloth up and then placing a weight on top of the quince can help it drain a bit faster.
However, if you just leave the quince to drain over night then there is no need to do that.
In the morning, you will have collected all the light pink liquid.
SIMMERING THE JELLY
This liquid now needs to simmer along with sugar until it’s at a jelly setting stage.
Quince jelly needs a lot of sugar, and there is no way around that. 1 cup of sugar per 1 cup of quince liquid.
This is simmered for at least 15-20 minutes until it is a deep red colour. Stay close to the stove stir it regularly so it doesn’t boil over. Any scum building up can be scooped off.
To test that the jelly is ready to be poured into jars, take a teaspoons worth and drop it on a plate. Let it cool for a minute.
Once cooled, run a finger through it and see that it leaves a line, without the jelly running back to the join in the middle. If it’s too runny, keep it simmering a while longer, otherwise it won’t set.
Once it is at the jelly setting stage, leave it to cool for a bit, then the jelly can be poured hot and clean preserving jars.
Close the jars and simmer them in a boiling water bath for 8 minutes to seal them for long-term storage.
Have you made this ? Tag me and let me know! @home_grown_happinessnz
Vanilla Quince Jelly
- 2 kg quinces Chopped into pieces (cut out any badly bruised bits)
- 2 whole lemons Sliced in half
- Water Enough to cover the quince
- Granulated sugar
- 2 whole vanilla beans
- Place the quince pieces and the lemons in a large stock pot. Pour over the water until all the fruit is covered.
- Bring the water to a boil and simmer the fruit for around an hour, until the quince is very soft. Allow it to cool to room temperature in the pot.
- Once cooled, pour the fruit and the liquid into a cheesecloth or muslin cloth, suspended over a large bowl.
- Let the quince drain for at least 8 hours to collect all the liquid. It’s easiest to leave it to drain overnight.
- Once the liquid has been drained, measure it out in cups and add 1 cup of sugar per 1 cup of liquid into a saucepan.
- Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pods and and add them to the liquid. Add the empty pods in as well.
- Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for around 15-20 minutes until it is a deep red colour and at a jelly setting stage. Stay close to the stove stir it regularly so it doesn’t boil over. Any scum building up can be scooped off.
- To test that the jelly is ready to be poured into jars, take a teaspoons worth and drop it on a plate. Let it cool for a minute.
- Once cooled, run a finger through it and see that it leaves a line, without the jelly running back to the join in the middle. If it’s too runny, keep it simmering a while longer, otherwise it won’t set.
- Once it is at the jelly setting stage, remove the empty vanilla pods. Leave the jelly to cool for a bit, then the jelly can be poured hot and clean preserving jars.
- Seal the jars and simmer them in a boiling water bath for 8 minutes to suction-seal them for long-term storage.