Sunday, January 4, 2009

Quince Jam for my Mother

When I was growing up, my family would receive a package from my father's uncle in California every Christmas. Inside would be a few Ball jars filled with quince jam, homemade from the quince tree in his yard. I never had quince in any other form or from any other source, so I thought it was some exotic treasure from all the way across the country.

So imagine my surprise when I found local quince at Westward Orchards while doing some food exploration back in November with Lily Von Schtoop. I scooped some up, having no idea how to cook them. Luckily, I found this simple quince jam recipe from Simply Recipes and, with a few small changes, was able to produce about 3 half-pint jars worth of delicious quince jam, two of which went into my mother's Christmas stocking (the third is sitting in my own fridge - can't give away all the goods!).

Quick Quince Jam
3 cups water
2 quince, rinsed and grated (discard hard core and seeds, but leave the skin on)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste

In a medium pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add quince, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and then reduce heat and simmer until quince is soft (about 10 minutes). Stir in the sugar and vanilla and bring back to a boil. Once all the sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches jam-like consistency (about 40-50 minutes).

Place 3 clean and dry half-pint canning jars (without lids) in the oven at 200° for 10 minutes to sterilize. Carefully ladle jam into jars (I found that a funnel was very helpful in avoiding getting jam all over the edges). Submerge the tops of the jars in water in a large pot, and bring water to a boil. Carefully remove tops from the pot, dry, and seal jars.


Anonymous said...

How long is the jam good for...if properly sealed and not opened?

Pam said...

The general rule is one year, so it's important to put the date on the jars. This recipe isn't properly sealed (knowing now what I didn't know when I made it) and would be less, I would assume. You can can this using the hot bath canning method and be good for a year.