Easy recipe for quince jam recipe without pectin with step by step instructions, jam making tips and flavour suggestions. Great morning preserve with a toast or serve it with a cheese or pate.
Easy to make traditional quince jam recipe that can be made any time of the year. A delicious recipe that only needs three ingredients – quinces, sugar & lemon.
Quinces are naturally high in pectin, which means we don’t need to use any additional pectin or special pectin high sugar. This makes this homemade quince jam a very budget-friendly recipe.
Today, I wanted to share with you my favourite recipe for my homemade quince jam.
Why make this recipe ?
- Can be made any time of the year
- Easy recipe to follow
- Perfect as a gift – you won’t find it in the supermarket!
- Great as a substitution for orange marmalade in cooking, baking or just eating!
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What does quince jam taste like?
Quinces taste a little bit like an apple and a pear mixed together.
It’s a quite mild and sweet taste, which can sometimes taste a little bland. This is why I’ve used lemon juice with the quinces so that the jam has a slight sharpness to it. Cinnamon, mixed spices and other warming spices work great with this quince jam recipe and enhance the natural fruity flavour of quinces.
Is quince high in pectin?
Yes, quince is naturally high in pectin, which is why we don’t need to use any additional pectin or pectin sugar with this recipe. The addition of lemon juice also helps to set the jam, but there is no need for commercially produced pectin in this recipe.
Jam making equipment
- Large pan or a saucepan
- Mixing spoon or a wooden mixing spoon
- Jam thermometer (optional)
- Small plates (kept in the fridge for testing the jam later)
- 6 sterilised jam jars with lids (depending on the size)
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Traditional quince jam recipe ingredients
If you’ve never tried or seen quinces before, they look and taste like a cross between an apple and a pear. They are usually yellow gold and don’t look particularly pretty. Once you make them into a jam or paste, they tend to change colour ranging from yellow to deep orange.
Quinces should be picked when they are just ripening and ideally you should leave them somewhere on the window sill (indoors) to fully ripen. If you leave them on the tree until they are ripened, they usually end up tasting quite woody and also go quite hard.
Quinces are very high in pectin, which means that you don’t need to use any fancy jam sugar or additional pectin to make get your homemade quince jam to set.
The other thing to note about quinces is that they absorb a lot of water. This means that you might need more water in your recipe than in mine. If you find that the jam is getting too thick as you are simmering it, just add more water to the mixture.
You’ll notice that I’ve used basic granulated sugar in this recipe and this is because quinces have plenty of pectin in already, so you don’t need to spend your money on fancy marmalade or jam sugars.
If you already have one in the cupboard, don’t worry, just use it and your quince jam will set slightly quicker and firmer than mine did.
If you want to know more about what type of sugar to use, you can refer to my Marmalade Making Tips Guide which covers this topic really well.
Quinces have quite a mild flavour, which can be improved by adding lemon juice to the jam. I like quite sharp lemony flavours, so I often increase the amount of lemon juice and use 2 lemons instead of just one.
This is completely personal taste, the recipe will work with one or two lemons.
Additional flavouring – spices, alcohol, honey
If the delicious flavour of natural quince isn’t enough, you could always add in complimenting spice (such as cloves, aniseed, cinnamon, nutmeg or mixed spice) or add a dash of whisky.
Make your recipe as described and add any flavouring after you’ve tested the jam for setting and you are ready to pour.
Alcohol evaporates around 70C, so leave the quince jam to cool down for a bit before you add any.
Another lovely flavour addition for this easy quince jam recipe is honey. You can add 1-2 tablespoons in with the sugar and add a tiny bit less sugar. It will complement the quinces beautifully and go well with the sharper lemon flavour.
Quince Jam – Flavour suggestions
Quince & Gin Marmalade – add 2-3 tablespoons of gin to the jam just before potting up
Spiced Quince Jam – replace 50% of the white sugar with soft brown sugar and add 1-2 teaspoons of ground mixed spice (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg etc.) or apple pie spice just before potting up
Sharp Quince Jam Marmalade – use juice of 2 lemons and follow the recipe as it is
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How to make quince jam at home
STEP 1 – Prepare the quinces and lemons
Wash and peel the quinces first and then chop them into smaller pieces. Remove all the cores and pips as you go.
Squeeze juice from the lemons.
Place the pips from the lemons in a muslin bag together with the quince cores, pips and peelings.
STEP 2 – Add everything to a large saucepan
Put the chopped quinces into a large saucepan and cover with water.
Add the muslin bag to the saucepan and make sure it’s submerged in the water.
STEP 3 – Simmer the fruit to soften
Bring the saucepan to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the quince fruit becomes soft. Add more water if needed.
When the quince fruit is soft, take out the muslin bag and squeeze as much liquid out as you can (the liquid contains pectin, which is needed to set your quince jam properly).
STEP 4 – Dissolve the sugar & add lemon juice
Add sugar and lemon juice and reduce the heat to make sure that the sugar dissolves on a low temperature.
STEP 5 – Boil your quince jam
When the sugar has dissolved properly, bring the whole mixture to a boil and boil for 10-15 minutes or so.
STEP 6 – Test your quince jam
Place a couple of small plates in a freezer or a fridge, before you start making your quince jam.
To make sure that your jam sets when you pour it, you need to test it first. Take the whole saucepan off the heat, put a spoonful of the jam on the cold plate and place in the fridge for 5 minutes. Then test it with your finger.
If the jam wrinkles when you push it sideways, it’s done. If the jam is runny or doesn’t wrinkle easily, bring the whole pot back to the boil and continue boiling for another 5 minutes. Test again.
When your ‘wrinkle test’ comes up positive, take the pot off the heat, wait a few minutes and then add any flavours you were going to use.
STEP 7 – Add any additional flavours
This is optional, but you can add any warming spices such as cinnamon, mixed spice or cloves and brandy, whisky or gin to compliment the flavour of the quinces. Add 2-3 tablespoons of alcohol if using and about 1 teaspoon of the spices. Taste it very carefully, leaving to cool down a bit and add more if needed.
STEP 8 – Pour
Pour into sterilised jam jars or other glass containers, seal immediately and let to cool down.
How to use quince jam
Just think about quince jam like any other marmalade or jam – it’s perfect to spread on toast, light & fluffy pancakes with yeast or add as a topping to various puddings, breakfast porridge or oatmeal goji berry moothie bowls.
It can also be used with savoury dishes, such as to serve with pate, cheese, meats and homemade buckwheat crackers or seeded crispbread.
How to store your homemade quince jam & shelflife
If you’ve prepared your jam jars correctly (e.g. sterilised, airtight seal etc.) your jam will last a minimum of 12 months (and we have kept some for up to 2 years and they were fine).
You can also pour the jam into any other suitable container with a lid and keep it in the fridge if you don’t have proper jam jars with sealed lids. A sturdy plastic container can come in handy. Keep marmalade in the fridge if it’s not properly sealed in a jam jar.
LIKE THIS RECIPE? SAVE IT FOR LATER
- 6 jam jars
- large saucepan
- small plates for testing your quince jam
- small spoons for testing
- 1 kg quinces
- 1200 grams white sugar
- 1-2 lemons
- 500 ml water more if needed
- Wash and peel the quinces first and then chop them into smaller pieces. Remore all the cores and pips as you go.
- Squeeze juice from the lemons.
- Place the pips from the lemons in a muslin bag together with the quince cores, pips and peelings.
- Put the chopped quinces into a large saucepan and cover with water.
- Add the muslin bag to the saucepan and make sure it’s submerged in the water.
- Bring the saucepan to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the quince fruit becomes soft. Add more water if needed.
- When the quince fruit is soft, take out the muslin bag and squeeze as much liquid out as you can (the liquid contains pectin, which is needed to set your quince jam properly).
- Add sugar and lemon juice and reduce the heat to make sure that the sugar dissolves on a low temperature.
- When the sugar has dissolved properly, bring the whole mixture to a boil and boil for 10-15 minutes or so.
- Test the quince jam for good set by doing the wrinkle test (add a small amount of the jam on a cold plate and if the jam sets, the whole mixture is ready).
- If the test jam is still runny after about 5 minutes, bring the whole mixture to a boil again and continue boiling another 5-10 minutes, depending on how runny the quince jam was, when you test it.
- Pour the quince jam into prepared jam jars, seal and leave to cool down completely, before storing it somewhere cold and dry.
This blog post was originally written on 21 November 2021 and last updated on 21 November 2022
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