Quince Jelly with Star Anise

Makes four 1/2-pint-size jars

You'd never guess from the floral flavor of rose-colored quince jelly that raw quince is quite tart. The jelly is finished with star anise for a hint of licorice, a classic pairing. Serve this with our Chicken-Liver Crostini.


  • 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


  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. 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. 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 degrees. 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. Unopened jelly can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 year.

Cook's Notes

Plate Test

Place a few small plates in the freezer before you prepare preserves. To test if preserves are set, remove a plate from freezer and drop a spoonful of preserves on it. Return to freezer for 1 to 2 minutes, then nudge edge of preserves with a finger. If set, preserves should hold their shape. If preserves are thin and spread, return pot to a boil, testing preserves every minute using remaining plates in freezer, until set.

Water-Bath Canning
Once jars are filled, wipe rims and then close with screw bands and lids. Submerge jars, covering with water by 2 inches, upright on a wire rack in a large pot of hot water; bring to a boil. Boil for indicated time (or longer, depending on altitude). Remove jars from pot using tongs, and transfer to a layer of clean towels to cool. Once cool, check for a slight indentation in lids, which indicates a vacuum seal. Refrigerate all canned products after opening.

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