This week’s special from my Farm Shop – more fresh quinces. This time I used their recipe for Quince Conserve but combined it with some other ideas for quince jam recipes and my increasing experience of jam-making and adapted the recipe and method slightly. I felt the amount of water suggested was rather excessive, and anyway I was cooking the fruit down in my pressure cooker, so it ought to use less water for the fruit preparation stage.
So, using 2.5 lbs of fresh quinces, I peeled, cored and sliced them into smallish chunky slices straight into 1 pint of water in the jam pan, and put the peelings and cores in a separate pan with 0.75 pint of water. I added a further 0.5 pint of water to the jam pan (pressure cooker) and brought it up to Medium pressure for 10 minutes then let the pressure off slowly (i.e. took it off the heat and waited). Actually I did it for 9 minutes – I’d do 10 next time to break the chunks down a wee bit more. This reduces the estimated time to cook the quinces from as much as an hour in some other recipes.
While this was going on I put the small pan of peelings and cores with its water on to cook as the recipe said ‘until the pulp is reduced by half’ which I reckoned meant until it looked like it was going a bit mushy, as we were after the pectin in the pips and core to add to the jam (thus avoided the need for lemon juice as added in a lot of other recipes). That done and the pressure off the fruit I strained the core and peelings mush so that the juice was added to the jam pan and then added 2.75 lbs sugar, stirring it in well till it was dissolved then brought the jam up to a fast boil until it reached the setting point (which took about 40 minutes so I’d not add the extra half pint of water next time).
Cooled slightly and potted into jam jars (which had plenty of time to be sterilised and dried, unlike the time I made the damson jam!). And then I did some labels.
The jam has a sweet but also slightly sharp taste and is recommended for both sweet and savoury dishes. It also goes the most beautiful red colour as it cooks.