Autumn in a Jar: Delia Smith Quince Jam Recipe

Crafting a quince jam recipe brings back a trove of delightful memories from autumn days spent in the kitchen, surrounded by the sweet, fragrant aroma of quinces. This particular recipe, inspired by years of jam-making adventures, is a simple yet gratifying endeavor. Quinces, with their unique flavor and aroma, lend themselves beautifully to the creation of a rich, golden jam that’s perfect for spreading on toast, swirling into yogurt, or even as a cheeky companion to cheese.

How To Make Inspired Quince Jam Recipe Delia Smith Overview

This recipe’s key feature is its simplicity and the remarkable change of quince from a tough, rather intimidating fruit to a tender, amber delicacy. Expect to spend around 1 to 1.5 hours from start to finish, yielding approximately 8-10 cups of jam, perfect for sharing or gifting. The process involves cooking the quince until tender, then sweetening it with sugar and balancing it with a touch of lemon juice, resulting in a jam that captures the essence of fall.

Ingredients:

  • Quince: 8 cups (peeled, cored, and chopped)
    Quinces are the main ingredient of this recipe, their transformation from hard and sour to sweet and tender is nothing short of magical.
  • Sugar: 2.5-3.5 cups
    Adjust the sugar based on how sweet you like your jam. The right amount turns the quince mixture into a golden, fragrant delight.
  • Lemon Juice: 1/3 cup
    A splash of lemon juice not only brightens the jam but also helps it set beautifully, thanks to its natural pectin.
  • Water: Enough to cover the quince
    Just enough water to simmer the quince into submission, creating the perfect base for our jam.

Instructions:

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the chopped quince with just enough water to cover them. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook until the quince pieces are tender about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Once the quince is tender, measure the cooked fruit. For every cup of cooked quince, add ¾ cup of sugar to the pot. This allows for a balanced sweetness, enhancing the natural flavor of the quince without overpowering it.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice, which not only adds a bright note to the jam but also helps in setting it by providing natural pectin and balancing the sweetness.
  4. Heat the mixture until it reaches a boiling point on medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, and stir frequently. Stir until the mixture thickens and reaches the gel stage, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. To test for doneness, place a small amount of jam on a cold plate; if it wrinkles when pushed with a finger, it’s ready.
  5. Transfer the hot jam into sterilized jars, ensuring there is a ¼ inch of space at the top.. Seal the jars according to canning guidelines, or simply allow them to cool before refrigerating. Use within 3-4 weeks if refrigerated or up to a year if properly canned.

Nutritional Value: (Per tablespoon, approximate)

Calories: 50

Carbohydrates: 13g

Sugars: 12g

Vitamin C: 1% of the RDA

Also Read: Delia Smith Banana Bread Recipe

Recipe Tips:

Selecting Quinces: Choose quinces that are firm and yellow with a nice fragrance. If they’re slightly green, let them ripen at room temperature until they turn yellow and give off their characteristic aroma.

Prepping Quinces: Peeling and coring quinces can be a bit of a task due to their hard flesh. A sharp knife and a sturdy vegetable peeler will make this job easier. Cut them into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking.

Sugar Adjustment: The amount of sugar can be adjusted based on the sweetness of the quinces and your personal preference. Remember, sugar acts as a preservative, so reducing it too much may shorten the jam’s shelf life.

Cooking Time: Patience is key. The cooking time might vary depending on the water content of the quinces and the desired thickness of the jam. Keep a close eye on the pot, especially towards the end, to prevent burning.

Testing for Doneness: The wrinkle test is a simple way to check if the jam is ready. Place a small plate in the freezer before you start cooking. To test, spoon a little jam onto the cold plate, wait a few seconds, then push it with your finger. If the surface wrinkles, it’s done.

Sterilizing Jars: To ensure your jam stays fresh and free from bacteria, always use sterilized jars for storage. You can sterilize jars by boiling them in water for ten minutes or placing them in a preheated oven at 275°F (135°C) for about 20 minutes.

Sealing and Storage: Fill the sterilized jars while the jam is still hot, leaving about ¼ inch of space from the top. Seal them tightly and let them cool completely. If properly sealed, the jam can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Once opened, keep it refrigerated and use within 3-4 weeks.

Adding Flavors: Quince jam pairs beautifully with various spices. Consider adding a cinnamon stick, a few cloves, or a vanilla pod during the cooking process for an extra layer of flavor.

Using Leftover Quince Peels and Cores: Don’t throw away the peels and cores! They are rich in natural pectin. Boil them in water to make a quince stock, which you can use instead of water in the recipe for an extra boost of quince flavor and natural pectin.

Enjoying Your Jam: Quince jam is versatile. Enjoy it on toast, as a filling for pastries, or alongside cheese and cold cuts for a delightful flavor contrast.

FAQs:

Can I reduce the sugar in this recipe?

Yes, you can cut down on the sugar in this quince jam recipe. However, remember that sugar helps preserve the jam. Reducing it might shorten the jam’s shelf life. If you prefer less sweetness, try using the minimum amount suggested. Just keep in mind, the jam might be a bit runnier and won’t last as long. It’s all about finding that sweet spot that works for you. Taste as you go to get it just right.

How do I know if the jam is ready?

To check if your jam is ready, use the wrinkle test. Put a small plate in the freezer before you start cooking. When you think the jam might be done, spoon a little onto the cold plate. Wait a few seconds, then push it with your finger. If the jam wrinkles, it’s ready. If not, cook it a bit longer and test again. This simple test helps you catch the perfect jammy texture without guessing.

Can I add other flavors to this jam?

Yes, you can definitely add other flavors to this jam. Quince pairs well with many spices. Think about mixing in cinnamon, vanilla, or star anise. Add these spices while cooking. They’ll give your jam a warm, aromatic twist. Just one cinnamon stick or a vanilla pod can make a big difference. Feel free to experiment with flavors you like. It’s a fun way to make the jam uniquely yours. Just remember, a little goes a long way with spices.

Why do I need to add lemon juice?

Lemon juice is key for a few reasons. First, it adds a nice, fresh taste that balances the sweetness of the sugar and the natural flavor of the quince. Second, lemon juice has natural pectin. This helps your jam set and get that perfect jammy texture. Also, the acidity from the lemon juice keeps the color of the quince bright and beautiful. So, it’s not just for flavor. It helps with the jam’s look and feel too.

How should I store the jam, and how long does it last?

Store your jam in sterilized jars to keep it fresh. Once you fill the jars and seal them, you can keep the jam in a cool, dark place. It will last up to a year like this. After opening a jar, put it in the fridge. Then, try to use it within 3-4 weeks. Keeping it cold helps it stay good. Remember, if you see any signs it’s gone bad, like mold or a funny smell, it’s time to toss it.

Conclusion:

Making quince jam is a delightful way to preserve the flavors of autumn. This recipe, with its balance of sweetness and acidity, showcases the quince’s natural charm. Whether you’re a seasoned jam maker or a curious beginner, the process is deeply rewarding, resulting in a preserve that’s as delicious as it is versatile. Enjoy your homemade quince jam as a daily spread, a special addition to cheese platters, or as a sweet gift for friends and family.

Delia Smith Quince Jam Recipe

Delia Smith Quince Jam Recipe

Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Jam & Jelly
Servings 10 Cups
Calories 50 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Quince: 8 cups peeled, cored, and chopped
  • Sugar: 2.5-3.5 cups
  • Lemon Juice: 1/3 cup
  • Water: Enough to cover the quince

Instructions
 

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the chopped quince with just enough water to cover them. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook until the quince pieces are tender about 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the quince is tender, measure the cooked fruit. For every cup of cooked quince, add ¾ cup of sugar to the pot. This allows for a balanced sweetness, enhancing the natural flavor of the quince without overpowering it.
  • Stir in the lemon juice, which not only adds a bright note to the jam but also helps in setting it by providing natural pectin and balancing the sweetness.
  • Heat the mixture until it reaches a boiling point on medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, and stir frequently. Stir until the mixture thickens and reaches the gel stage, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. To test for doneness, place a small amount of jam on a cold plate; if it wrinkles when pushed with a finger, it’s ready.
  • Transfer the hot jam into sterilized jars, ensuring there is a ¼ inch of space at the top.. Seal the jars according to canning guidelines, or simply allow them to cool before refrigerating. Use within 3-4 weeks if refrigerated or up to a year if properly canned.

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