I made this a couple of months ago and still have a few jars left in my cupboard. The recipe is from my Grandma, she gave me Quince Jelly with Roast Chicken one time, and well, it was fantastic. Then I bought some Quince Jelly from a supermarket and it was horrible stuff, if I only had ever tasted the supermarket version I think I would have been put off for life! And then one day, I happened to be outside the physics block on the University of Exeter streatham campus, looked slightly to my side and noticed a low growing Quince Bush with the fruit literally falling off the plant and going bad, and I couldn’t let it all go to waste!
As my Grandma put it, “only a Gran would ever tell you to put chilli in Quince Jelly”, and it just happens I have never seen any other recipe with it in. You don’t want enough to make it really discernibly hot, you should more aim for the Chilli-Chocolate kind of effect, you can taste it, it’s incredibly moreish and making you salivate, but your mouth isn’t getting burned from the inside out.
I personally love having Quince with most meats, it works well with Bacon, Chicken, hard Cheeses and most things which benefit from a savoury tang, it would probably make a very nice side with a BBQ or even a Curry.
– Recipe –
Weigh the Quinces you have gathered/bought
Aim for an amount of White Sugar slightly less than the amount of Quince jelly you get from stage 3 (measure in cups)
Use the zest of one Lemon for roughly every 500g of Quince
take maybe a teaspoon or so of Chili Flakes for every 500g of Quince (maybe more or less depending on how you feel about Chili!)
Water to cover
- Wash the Quinces and chop into largeish chunks, place in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Just cover with Water and simmer till completely soft, anywhere in the region of half an hour to an hour and a half.
- Mash and then let it strain through sterile muslin into another pan overnight.
- Put a plate in the freezer (see below) , then add the Chili Flakes and the Sugar before bringing it all to a hot boil, stirring to make sure none of it sticks to the pan.
- After 10 minutes on a boil, check to see if has reached setting point. Do this by taking the plate out of the freezer and putting a tiny little dab of the Jelly onto it, if it has a skin and wrinkles when you touch it after 30 seconds -1 minute on the plate, then the Jelly will set.
- Pour into sterile jars. It will change to a really deep amber hue after a few months!