I have a thriving quince tree in my garden, and when it starts to fruit, it complains about the weight it’s bearing. So when the time comes, I allot a few days of jam-making at home.
Quince is not a fruit to enjoy eating raw like other fruits, because it is too hard and its flavors come out only when you cook it. My principal quince recipe is jam. Sometimes I cook it plain, or sometimes I mix it with other kinds of fruit or liquors. Whatever the mixture is, the flavor is absolutely delicious on toast or with aged cheese.
For this jam, I would suggest pairing it with aged cheeses that have a mild to medium taste. Use Parmigiano-Reggiano as a base for the sharpness of its flavor and its texture, and then go for similar-tasting cheeses. Just to give you an idea, some cheeses I pair this quince jam with are Dobbiaco vecchio, Bra duro, formaggio di fossa, Piave vecchio, mimolette, pecorino and Grana Padano. There are so many kinds of aged cheeses, so explore, and trust your taste buds.
Quince and red currant jam recipe
If you ask me what kind of jam I love most, I would tell you quince. It is hard to find commercially, so I patiently wait for my tree to bear the fruit, and make my own jam. This is the recipe I always use — sometimes just 100 percent quince with a few drops of fresh lemon juice to cut the sweetness, and sometimes with different kinds of liquor to give it a little added flavor.
Yields 1-3/4 cups
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes | Total time: 1 hour
- 2 pounds peeled and chopped quince
- 1-1/4 cups white sugar
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1/8 cup red currants
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the quince, sugar, water and red currants, and let them boil.
- Simmer over low-medium heat until the jam reaches a thick consistency. Stir occasionally to avoid it sticking and burning.
- While the jam is cooking, sterilize the jars and covers by boiling them for at least 5 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Remove them from the boiling water with clean tongs or anything else you can use so that you don’t touch the jars and the covers. Place them upside down on a clean dishcloth, and don’t touch the insides.
- Once the jam has cooked, spoon it into the jars while still hot. Make sure there are no air pockets. Seal the jars, and then store them away from direct sunlight. Refrigerate after opening.
- Eat the jam within 2 weeks, because the amount of sugar in this recipe is not enough for long conservation. If you want to keep the jam for a longer time, then use an equal amount of sugar and fruit.