Quince Jam is a typical winter jam around the Mediterranean, especially Albania & Greece. It’s common to serve it over toast at breakfast or as spoon sweets.
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What is Quince?
Quince is a fruit similar to pear in appearance. In the Mediterranean, quince is mostly grown around Albania, Greece and Turkey. When ripe, quince becomes bright yellow and has a very typical aromatic smell. I took a picture of the quinces I had before making jam, so here it is if you’re not familiar with this fruit.
When I first moved to Florida, I remember looking around the grocery store but I didn’t know what it was called. In Albania we call quinces ftoi or ftonj. Finally, found it online that this fruit was called quince in English. I went back to the store and asked if they had quince. And they looked and me and asked, you want fifteen of what???? Gotta love Miami! Almost everyone is bilingual or trilingual even, so they thought I was using the Spanish word Quince which means 15 lol.
Let’s get the vocabulary straight for a second about this fruit. I even got questions in Instagram about it when I posted my quince basket.
English – Quince, Spanish – Membrillo, Albanian – Ftoi or Ftonj
Quince Jam Recipe Notes
Here are some of my notes when making quince jam you can use on top of the recipe below.
- Once you cut quince, its flesh gets brown really fast. I usually slice the fruit and put it in a bowl with cold water and lemon to prevent the fruit from coloring.
- Usually I use 1 cup of water for every 4 quinces as a rule of thumb. But keep in mind that quinces can vary wildly in size, so your cooking time might have to be adjusted slightly to get the perfect jam consistency.
- To make spoon sweets with quince, use instructions for jam but instead of blending the quince like I did use a grater that will slice the fruit in matchstick shapes. Keep them short. Also, you have to double up on sugar. My jam is not too sweet so for spoon sweets, you need more sugar to caramelize it a bit.
- I keep this jam simple, just water, quince, sugar and lemon. Quince is the star ingredient. But you can add additional ingredients to taste. Back in my native country we added an aromatic plant called barbaroza, we grew it in a pot in our balcony. I still haven’t been able to find this plant here in Florida, still searching.
- This is a small batch recipe. I don’t use pectin because I boil the quince twice. This batch is enough for about 2 weeks for my family. If stored properly in an airtight jar in the refrigerator, this quantity is good for 2 weeks. I’m not including any canning instructions because this is a small batch. However, if you would like to make a bigger batch, please follow proper canning instructions.
- Since this jam requires very little water, be careful not to burn it. Cook in medium or lower heat. Stir occasionally to get the jam from sticking in your pot.
- Jam will turn pink after cooking. Color gets deeper when stored.
Here are 2 pictures I took during the preparation process.
- Medium size pot
- 4 medium size quinces
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Wash quinces and then dry them. Cut in the middle, remove the core.
- Slice each half in 3-4 big slices. Place slices of quince in a bowl of cold water. Slice half a lemon in round slices and place them in water too. It prevents the fruit from becoming brown.
- Blend the quince in quick pulses or grate them. See a picture in recipe notes, chunks don't have to be perfect. It's ok if size varies slightly.
- Boil 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar, stir occasionally so sugar can dissolve. Add more sugar for a sweeter jam.
- Once it boils, add blended quinces. Mix well, lower temperature to medium.
- Squeeze the remaining lemon half, pour it in. Then zest the lemon until you have about 1 tbsp of zest. Throw that in as well.
- Cover up and let cook for about 30 minutes. Turn stovetop off, move the pot to the side. Let it cool down.
- Then once cool, put it to cook again for another 30 minutes in medium heat. Adjust water quantity as needed. This jam shouldn't be too runny so be careful not to add too much. I didn't need to add anymore to mine but my quinces were on the smaller/medium size. For bigger quinces you might have to add few tbsps of water.
- Once cooked for the second time, it should have reached the perfect consistency and quinces should be soft enough.
- Pour in jars when cool, refrigerate for up to 2 weeks in air tight closed jars. Serve for breakfast over buttered toast or over cheeses and other appetizers.
- There are 2 methods of cooking this jam. This recipe details my preferred method. The other way is to peel quinces after slicing them. Boil only the peels. Then blend the quince flesh and pour that in a pot with sugar and the boiled water (after draining it). That way it keeps the flavor from the skin. I actually cook mine with skin on, but cook it twice.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please pin it in Pinterest. Don’t hesitate to contact me for any questions or tag me in social media if you made the jam.
For more Mediterranean sweet recipes please check the below recipes