Quince jam

Very fragrant and sweet, quince jam is a simple and delicious preparation, which can be used both in sweet and savory dishes. Not just delicious but healthy too:  quinces have many benefits and they are a low-calories food.

How to prepare quince jam? Which are the best pairings and the best recipes you can try at home? Let’s discover how to cook with quince jam and all the curiosities about this preparation.

Quinces

Let’s start from the main ingredient: quinces, a curious and often forgotten fruit, with its irregular shape and a sweet smell. The feature of this apple is its taste while raw: extremely tart and not very palatable, the taste changes if you cook and add sugar to them.

For a long time, these fruits – comparable to a bizarre cross-breed between an apple and a pear – have not been eaten, they were used for other purpose instead, e.g. as wardrobe freshener. Just after a long time some peasant families from the northern Italy started to use quinces in cooking, beginning a long tradition of jams and preserves, among which quince jelly has a special place, it is actually a very peculiar jam with a solid consistency, usually served as a dessert, just as it is.

Marmellata mele cotogne

Quince jam ingredients

What do you need to prepare a good quince jam? Fruit, of course, 1 kg quinces, 400 g. sugar and lemon juice. This is the traditional recipe for a delicious homemade quince jam, without any preservative or thickener. Quince skin is rich in pectin, a soluble dietary fibre, that’s why people use to add a piece of quince while preparing other jams.

Preparing quince jam

Which is the traditional recipe for quince jam? How to prepare quince jam at home in 40 minutes.

  • First of all, wash the quinces, and rub off any fur which normally protects the fruit on the tree. Meanwhile, use a bowl to prepare a mixture of water and the juice of one lemon.
  • Cut the quinces in halves, removing the core; keep the skin, which contains pectin. Once they are cut, dip them in the mixture of water and lemon, to avoid the oxidation process.
  • Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil, dip the quinces chunks and let them cook until they are soft. Normally it will take 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Drain the quinces, mash them with a potato masher or a similar tool. Add lemon juice and sugar to this mixture: 400 g. sugar per quince kilo. Put on a low flame until the jam will reach the consistence you desire, stir often to avoid the preparation from sticking to the pan or from burning.
  • Now quince jam is ready to be potted. Always remember to previously sterilize your jars, allowing them to preserve the preparation for a longer time. When you fill the jars, remember to allow at least 1-centimeter headspace between the underside of the lid and the top of the product.

Pairings with quince jam

Despite what we might think, quince jam doesn’t match only with desserts, it goes perfectly with savoury dishes too. How to use quince jam in cooking? Here for you our suggestions to try some unknown tastes which will surprise your palate.
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Pairing with cheeses

Quince jam matches perfectly with marbled cheeses with a strong and aromatic taste such as Roquefort: a classic pairing for a cheese board to share with friends. Not only mature cheeses, but fresh ones too match surprisingly well with quince jam. Do you want a suggestion for an appetizer? Bruschette with quince jam and fresh goat’s cheese. Very easy to prepare and really delicious, perfect whit a good white wine such as Verduzzo.

Pairing with meats

Try also the pairing with white meats: quince jam will give a sweet touch to your chicken or turkey, a new and more creative version of the traditional dishes. When you’ll prepare your chicken, you can use quince jam while cooking, or you can serve a small portion as accompaniment to the dish, just like any other sauce.

Cakes and desserts with quince jam

There are many ideas to prepare cakes, biscuits and tarts with a sweet quince jam filling. Tarts, so simple and genuine, really delight everyone. A recipe to be presented in its perfect winter or autumn version is the one for the tart with quince jam, pine nuts, raisins, chocolate, ginger and cinnamon: very fragrant and spicy, perfect when you heat it up during the coldest nights, with a good cup of tisane or hot chocolate.

Preparing some homemade biscuits filled with quince jam may be another good idea for an original dessert: a typical dessert for those regions in Southern Italy, where people use to prepare some sort of pastry pockets, fragrant and filled with jam. Those who love spicy tastes, could also taste the version with cinnamon.

One last suggestion: the sbrisolona cake with almonds and filled with quince jam: a simple cake, but always delicious, where fruit enrich its taste.
Torta Mele cotogne

Quince jam preservation

When you prepare a homemade jam, it is essential to sterilize the jars in order to properly preserve the preparation, which will keep its taste and its properties for 12 months. It is important to preserve the jars in a fresh and dry place. Once you open the jar, keep it refrigerated and eat the jam within 3 or 4 days.

Properties and nutritional benefits

Quinces have a lot of health benefits, and traditionally the have been often used to cure some diseases.  Their juice was used to treat intestinal disorders, and to obtain a relaxing effect in case of excessive tiredness.

What about quince jam? As concerned its nutritional values, this is rich in fibre and high in sugar, but naturally low in fat. Compared to other jams, quince jam is lower in calories: about 60 calories every 50 grams.