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Quince Jelly with Star Anise

You'd never guess from the floral flavor of rose-colored quince jelly that raw quince is quite tart. The jelly, finished here with star anise for a hint of licorice (a classic pairing), makes a good match for silken chicken-liver pate.

  • yield: Makes four 1/2-pint-size jars

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Ingredients

  • 4 pounds slightly underripe quinces, washed well and cut into pieces
  • 7 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 or 2 star anise

Cook's Note

Make sure to cook the skin and core of the quince, where pectin, a natural thickener, is found.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Place quinces in a large saucepan. Add water, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, covered, until dark pink and very soft, about 3 hours.

  2. Step 2

    Pass through a fine sieve, pressing out liquid; discard solids. (You should have 4 cups liquid. If you don't, adjust the amount of sugar used in step 3 to maintain a 1:1 ratio.)

  3. Step 3

    Bring quince juice, sugar, lemon juice, and star anise to a simmer in a large saucepan over high heat. Cook, skimming foam, until thick and a candy thermometer registers 220. Plate-test jelly to make sure it is set. Divide between four 1/2-pint-size sterilized glass jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace at tops. Can in water bath for 10 minutes. Let stand overnight to fully set before using.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, March 2010

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Reviews (3)

  • Gloria Zeazeas Timmons 12 Dec, 2013

    I made this recipe as listed. The "jelly" did not jell - it is like syrup. Can I reprocess the syrup so I have jelly? The pectin that I have is a light pectin that does not call for any sweetner - am afraid to use it as it would probably be much too sweet. Please advise.

  • jmadre6 25 Nov, 2013

    Quince are unique and lovely. I am blessed to have the tree my father planted many years ago. I have made quince jelly many times and I have never been able to get it to set without adding powdered pectin. I also don't like to add any spices because the natural flavor of quince is so special and unique it doesn't need anything added to it. They make beautiful Christmas gifts. One friend liked it so much he bought me a box of jars and asked for more.

  • fancynancy7 15 Oct, 2013

    Martha, Hating to question you, but...you mention forcing the juice from the pulp. Does this not result in a cloudy finished product? You also say to simmer the jelly when isn't a rolling boil always recommended. Is Quince so different that the rules of jelly making do not apply?