Monday, 30 October 2017

Quince Marmalade

It's that time again!

Courtesy of my friends Manny and Hannah I have a bowl full of quinces, and a recommendation to try making quince marmalade.  Quinces have a lot of natural pectin in them (the stuff that gives jam its jammy consistency) so this is pretty straightforward.

You will need:
1.5lb of sliced quinces
1/2 lemon chopped finey
2cups sugar
2 cups water

You basically just wash the fuzz off your quinces, cut them into marmalade sized pieces (removing any bits you don't like the look of) and toss it into a big metal pan with your lemon rind, water and sugar.  I chopped my quinces a little too big, so the result looks a bit more like chutney than marmalade, but no harm done there as it will soften during cooking.  I gave it a quick whizz with a hand blender to cut them down to size.

Bring it to the boil and then lower the heat again and leave it to quietly simmer away for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  Put a lid on the pan if you have one to help keep the heat in, but leave a crack for the steam to get out.  The idea here is that we want the liquid to evaporate away until we're left with a sticky syrup.

My favourite part is watching the creamy-and-yellow quinces magically turn pinky-orange.

You'll know your marmalade is done by doing the drop test.  Chill a plate in the freezer then drop a teaspoons-worth of marmalade onto the plate.  Once it's cooled, poke it with your finger - if it stays liquidy and your finger slides straight through then it isn't done yet, but if the marmalade starts to pile up and wrinkle around your finger then you know the rest of the mixture will do the same when it cools in your jars.

Pour mixture into sterilised jars (I let boiling water sit in them when I clean them beforehand) and then leave the whole lot to cool and become jellified.  I like to make labels for mine, which I print with a laser printer and stick on with a gelatin glue that's easy to remove with hot water when you want to reuse the jar (1 sachet gelatin, 2 tblsp warm milk, and 4 tblsp hot water).

Ta-dah!  Adding the lemon rind was a good call, as it adds a kick to the warm, honey-ish mellowness of the quince.  These are all going as gifts, but I did keep a little pot for myself!

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