Quinces are in season! It’s Autumn in this part of the world and besides the wonderful changes in nature, especially its colours, quinces would be one of the first signs that the seasons are changing. Next is Winter in its white clothes but that is another story to tell. Old habits are hard to change. Speaking as a true continental climate adorer – I know.
In my opinion quinces are slightly neglected, compared to other fruits. Back in time, when my mum was a little girl, they used to keep them in their pantries or kitchens through the whole winter, just for the sake of the wonderful aroma. Somehow they used to stay fresh for a long time. What memories and what a special place they had back then.
So quinces are popular – where I come from. You can find them hanging from beautiful quince trees in many backyards, back home. My in-laws have a few of them in the beautiful orchard, surrounding their holiday house. We ate many unique cakes made with this golden fruit and I will share some of them, but what I really want to do this time is the jam. Quince jam!
Many wouldn’t taste raw quinces, mainly because they are too hard and tart. That doesn’t apply to me. I love them, raw or cooked and if cooked, my first choice would be this jam. Quince jam with cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves! Cardamom is my main thing lately so I am not surprised that it’s found its way to this recipe. Cinnamon and quinces, well that is just a natural match and at the last-minute I decided to add bay leaf. Very pleased with the result!
Quince jam with cardamom and bay leaf
1 kg quinces, peeled, cored and sliced (that would be almost 2 kg of quinces to start with)
300 gr sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 l water or quince peel jus (cook quince peel in 2 l of water for 1 hour)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 green apple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
In a large heavy pot, add quince and pour over water or jus. Boil and add sugar and then cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and bay leaves wrapped in a cooking cloth. Add green apple and lemon juice.
Cook for 2 hours on a low heat, stirring occasionally.
You should get thick and smooth jam, with a wonderfully rich orange, almost red colour and sinfully tasty.
Sterilise jars in a steaming pot for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a steaming pot then use the oven for sterilizing. Wash jars thoroughly first, dry them and put them in a 130C oven for 20 minutes.
Lids should be placed in boiling water for 20 minutes, anything else will ruin their shape.
Be aware the temperature of jam and jar should be approximately the same. Don’t pour cold jam into a hot jar or hot jam into a cold jar.
Spread the jam onto a slice of bread for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner.