Quince Quandry

I have just harvested 33 kilos (just over 5 stone) of quince off the tree in our primary school playground. Has anyone any good recipes/ ideas of what I can do with such a quantity? I was thinking of making some jam/jelly which the school could sell - any tips....

Some of the quince are not completely yellow - will they ripen if left in the sun or in proximity with other ripe quince? Any advice and help welcome, thanks  image


  • No harm in letting them ripen up for a couple of weeks. My Vranja quinces.. of which I have very few this year for some reason... are turning yellow now and I normally wait until they either drop or come off with a good shake, usually in October. We have made jam in the past but it is rather bland. I read that quince jelly is nice but difficult to 'clear'. The nicest concoction I've tasted is a 'quince cheese', much like the Portuguese marmelo. It goes nicely with cheese, ham etc. I'm sure there are good recipes online.

  • Thanks Paul. We have had our best crop ever this year. Our assistant caretaker (off sick for the next month, unfortunately) used to take the fruit to a friend 'down the pub' who made membrilo - Spanish equivalent of the one you mention. This option is not available to us this year but as you suggest I'll look online.

    We had to clear the tree as some parents - (new to this country) were helping themselves, biting into the fruit and then discarding on the ground...it was becoming a bit of an issue. Do you think the quince will continue to ripen off the tree?

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115
    Have you thought of selling them to your greengrocer or local deli?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,754

    Our local farm shop is happy to buy quinces from local gardenersimage

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
  • You make jelly and cheese from one batch of fruit. When making the jelly don't be tempted to help it along by squeezing the dripping fruit or it will be cloudy. Look for lots of small jars to pot up the jelly, I use those little Gu pots which seem to accumulate in the cupboard image.

    Once you have collected the juice to make the jelly you simply simmer the remaining fruit pulp with an equal weight of sugar to make the fruit cheese/membrillo/marmelo. It does take several hours though and it would be difficult to handled such a big batch. You can store the pulp for a few days in the fridge though before making the cheese so you could break up the production process.

  • One staff member has suggested the school cook might be interested in making quince pie/crumble for lunch. Looking into the idea which seems a good one!

  • The following is taken from a collection of "Unusual Preserves", collated by National Federation of Women's Institutes, published in December 1969:

    "Quince Marmalet" (circa 1710...!)

    1lb quinces   1lb sugar  1 pint water - and a little Brandy!!

    Wipe, peel, cut into quarters, and core quinces - place in cold water to preserve colour. Put the peelings and cores into cold water and boil until tender. Strain off liquid. When it be cold, allow to 1 pint of liquid, 1lb of fruit and 1lb of sugar. Boil all together, till they are tender, keeping close covered. Beat and heat them until they be of a right thickness, put into pots (glass jars?) and when cold, cover with brandied paper (?waxed paper & clear plastic/ cellophane + elastic band).

    ?might be worth a try if you're still overwhelmed by quantities!! Enjoy!!

  • Thanks David, worth a try. I have plenty to practise with! It certainly must be a tried and tested method to have lasted this long! Thanks for taking the time to type it out.

  • My pleasure, Daintiess. Let's hope that all this year's (surviving) fruita are put to good use & the results repay your (joint) efforts! Cheers!!

  • Polly5Polly5 Posts: 6

    I have made quince jelly from quinces off my ornamental quince. The jelly was lovely and clear as you use the juice which drips from the jelly bag and don't squeeze the bag at all. What a fantastic flavour! I potted it up into small jars and fabulous to eat with cheese on crackers. Thanks for the tip on using the left over pulp to make cheese with. I hadn't realised I could do that. Will now cut off the peel and core and put in muslin square to keep separate but allow pectin content to be retained. I remember thinking at the time what a waste discarding all the pulp!

  • Success! I have made lots of pots of quince jelly. Shared the rest of the fruit with other staff members who have also made jelly and membrilo. The jelly is a beautiful colour and smells flowery - tastes good too!

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    I made quince jelly last year, but haven't eaten much of it, and now we have lots of quinces again!!  I put one in with apple crumble which was nice - it is quite an intense flavour so I prefer it mixed with apple rather than on its own. 

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 3,467

    Sorry - have only just seen this thread.

    Quince jelly makes an excellent alternative to cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly & we always have it with roast pork. Delicious with all hot and cold meats (except perhaps beef) - whether on the side or spread in butties. Also good with strong cheddar style cheeses and pates.

    I always stir some into any pork casserole style dishes I am making or when I want a little extra sweetness or zip in gravy. 

    I don't peel or core mine for jelly (too much like hard work) - I just wash & chop them.

    I do, however, peel and slice a few for the freezer as a couple of slices added to apple pie, crumble or sauce perfumes & lifts the whole dish.

    Apparently quinces used to be placed in linen cupboards to scent the linen & a few left to soften in bowls makes a cheap form of pot pourri.

    Lovely versatile fruit - just wish mine didn't have pear brown spot!

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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