When I mention quince the immediate reaction of most people is ‘Oh, you can make quince jelly.’ But when asked if they have ever tasted it the answer invariably is no. Most of them admit that they don’t know what a quince looks like never mind the jelly.
However there are plenty of recipes out there and the ever-reliable Mrs Beeton suggest the following method for making quince jelly.
‘Pare and slice the quinces, and then put them into a preserving pan with sufficient water to float them. Boil them until the fruit is reduced to a pulp. Strain off the clear juice and to each pint allow 1lb of loaf sugar. Boil the juice and sugar together for about 45 minutes, remove all the scum as it rises, and when the jelly appears firm upon a little being poured onto a plate, pour into small pots. The residue left on the sieve will answer to make a common marmalade for immediate use, by boiling it with ½ lb of common sugar to every pound of pulp.’
When you’re done the quince jelly is divine with a good cheese.
This recipe was taken from our book Mrs Beeton’s Jam-making and Preserves, which is now available as a paperback or ebook. Looking through her many fruit jelly recipes I also found one for that good old-fashioned Christmas staple - Cranberry Jelly
‘Procure ½ lb of cranberries, 6oz of sugar, a pinch of soda, a teaspoon of lemon-juice, 1½ gills of water.
Pick over and wash the cranberries, put them in a stew-pan with the water and soda. Remove the scum as soon as it begins to boil, then add the sugar, and boil gently for about 20 minutes, and keep covered while boiling. Remove the lid and add the lemon juice, reduce briskly for a few minutes until the liquid stiffens; strain into a wetted mould or any earthen vessel, allow it to set in a cool place, and turn out when required. It forms an excellent and most appropriate accompaniment to roast turkey.’
Something to get prepared now in the countdown to Christmas.
The weights and measures were OK for Mrs B but here’s a handy conversion of the measurements used above:
1oz = 25g; 1lb = 450g; 1 teaspoon = 5ml; 1 pint = 600 ml; 1 gill = 150 ml