Quince Jelly

Here I am, back at work. I’ve been in hiding for a while, but now the time has come for me to publish something new. For those of you who don’t like quinces, well, you’d better check out some other blog (I know some very interesting blogs, in case). I know I’m definitely repetitive, but this post deals with quinces. Again. Like the next two posts, actually. Ok, this first year is going on like that, but I promise that this autumn I won’t bore you with quinces. Not that much, at least.

What to say about quince jelly? That it’s a lovely way to make something of quinces if you’ve had enough of making jams. And with the same amount of quinces, you can make both jelly and cotognata, that is quince paste (don’t worry, cotognata is going to be my next post…).

To make quince jelly, you have to cook quinces in a good quantity of water and till they become soft; the quinces will be used to make cotognata, while the juicy liquid will be filtered and cooked together with sugar to make a perfumed, ruby-red jelly that will be perfect either on a slice of bread or to accompany ripe cheese.

Ingredients

3.5 kg quinces
4 liters water
1.2 kg sugar

Preparation time: 30-60 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours – 3 hours 45 minutes

Wash the quinces to remove the velvety down. Cut them into quarters, leaving the cores and skin on, and let them cook in a large saucepan covered with water (in my case I used 4 liters) for about 30-45 minutes till the fruit is soft and tender. Let the quinces cool in the cooking water.

When they are perfectly cool, remove the skin and cores and toss them all into the cooking water (they contain natural pectin that is essential to make jelly). Set the quince pulp aside to make cotognata.

Now bring the cooking water with cores and skin to the boil and cook till the liquid is reduced and pink in color. When the liquid is cool, filter it through a white cloth (possibly muslin). You’d better let the liquid be filtered all night long. If the liquid is still cloudy, filter it again. After all this process, I obtained 2.4 liters of liquid.

Now add sugar to the liquid in a large saucepan (I added 1.2 kg of sugar, that is 500 grams for each liter of liquid) and stir well. Bring to the simmer and cook for about 1 hour or so till you have the right consistency and a beatiful ruby color, stirring now and then and skimming off scum if necessary (this step won’t be probably necessary because the liquid should be rather pure). To know if the setting point is reached, try the wrinkle test: drop a little jelly onto a cold (better if previously refrigerated) saucer, wait for the jelly to cool, then tilt the saucer on its side. If the jelly doesn’t slide off, but wrinkles on its surface, it is set. Otherwise, a little more cooking is necessary.

Now pour the jelly into airtight jars. Cover with lid. To sterilize and vacuum-seal the jars, put them in a saucepan, cover them with cold water and bring to the boil. Let boil for about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the pan and let them cool upside-down, so that the lid is sterilized, too. When they get cool, you should hear the vacuum-sealing “click”. Jars are perfectly sterilized and can be stored in a cool and dry place.

Gelatina di Mele Cotogne

Rieccoci di nuovo al lavoro. Sono stata un po’ latitante, ma ora è arrivato il momento di pubblicare qualcosa di nuovo. Per coloro a cui non piacciono le mele cotogne, beh, consiglio di andare a dare un’occhiata a qualche altro blog (ne conosco diversi interessanti). So di essere ripetitiva, ma questo post è sulle mele cotogne. Ancora. Comei prossimi due post, in realtà. Ok, questo primo anno è andata così, ma prometto che il prossimo autunno non tedierò nessuno con le cotogne. Non tanto, almeno.

Cosa dire della gelatina di cotogne? Che è uno splendido modo di consumare le cotogne se ne avete abbastanza di fare marmellate. E con la stessa quantità di cotogne, si possono fare sia la gelatina che la cotognata (tranquilli, la cotognata è il mio prossimo post…).

Per fare la gelatina, bisogna cuocere le cotogne in acqua finché non risultano morbide; le cotogne si usano per la cotognata, mentre il liquido di cottura, filtrato, viene cotto con lo zucchero per ottenere una gelatina, profumatissima e dal colore rubino, perfetta sia spalmata sul pane che per accompagnare formaggi stagionati.

Ingredienti

3.5 kg di mele cotogne
4 litri di acqua
1.2 kg di zucchero

Tempo di preparazione: 30-60 minuti
Tempo di cottura: 2 ore – 3 ore e 45 minuti

Lavare le cotogne per eliminare la peluria superficiale. Tagliarle in quarti, lasciando la buccia e il torsolo, e cuocerle in una pentola con abbondante acqua (io ho usato 4 litri) per crca 30-45 minuti, finché la frutta non diventa morbida. Lasciar raffreddare le cotogne nell’acqua di cottura.

Quando sono fredde, rimuovere le bucce e i torsoli e metterli nella pentola con l’acqua di cottura (contengono pectina naturale, indispensabile per la buona riuscita della gelatina). Tenere da parte la polpa per fare la cotognata.

Portare ad ebollizione il liquido con i torsoli e le bucce e cuocere finché il liquido non si è ridotto un po’ ed è diventato di un bel colore rosato. Dopodiché lo si filtra attraverso un canovaccio (possibilmente di mussola). Volendo, lo si può lasciar filtrare tutta la notte e, se necessario, lo si filtra anche due volte per avere un succo più puro. Alla fine del processo, io ho ottenuto 2.4 litri di succo.

Si mette il succo a bollire con lo zucchero (500 gr di zucchero per 1 litro di succo, ma anche meno zucchero, a seconda dei gusti). Cuocere per circa un’ora fino ad ottenere la giusta consistenza e un bel colore rosso rosato, mescolando di tanto in tanto e schiumando se necessario (questo passo non dovrebbe essere necessario perché il liquido è già abbastanzapuro). Per sapere se si raggiunge il giusto punto di cottura, fare la prova del piattino: versare una goccia di gelatina in un piattino freddo (meglio di freezer), attendere che la gelatina si raffreddi e inclinare il piattino. Se la gelatina non scivola, è pronta. Altrimenti è necessaria ancora un po’ di cottura.

Adesso versare la gelatina nei barattoli da sottovuoto. Coprire con il coperchio. Per sterilizzare i barattoli, metterli in una pentola, coprirli con acqua fredda e far bollire per circa 20-30 minuti. Toglierli dalla pentola e lasciarli raffreddare a testa in giù così che anche il tappo si sterilizzi ben bene. Quando si raffreddano, dovrebbe sentirsi il caratteristico “click” del sottovuoto. I barattoli sono quindi sterilizzati e possono essere conservati in dispensa.



30 comments
  1. Welcome back, friend! You are the queen of jellies and jams, I must say. Not a bad thing at all – in fact, it’s wonderful! Have you ever thought about starting your own business?! :-p I would be your first customer for sure!

    • Rita said:

      You won’t believe it, but I have been seriously thinking about starting my own business in the jam field. The point is that I don’t know where and how to get a licence to do that: I mean, if I want it to be a job, it must be legal.😉 Mario and I are planning to buy a new house in the future, with a large orchard: I’d love to grow my own fruit and turn it into jams. But I’m afraid we have to wait for a while…😦

    • Rita said:

      BTW, if I start a new business, I should sell my jams on the internet…😛

  2. No worries of being busy! Life throws curve balls. Glad to see you’re back. I’m loving this jelly. I’m holding off until spring to start making jams and jellies since everything will be in season. I second Stephanie, you should totally start your own business!

    • Rita said:

      Thanks Shelvasha. I hope fruit will be in season soon so you can try. I find making jams extremely relaxing and satisfactory…😛

  3. Mary said:

    What gorgeous clear, color. Your jelly looks perfect. I’m new to your blog and have spent some time browsing through your earlier entries. I really love the food and recipes you feature here. I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • Rita said:

      Thank you Mary for stopping by. I had a look at your blog and it’s amazing. I’m going to follow you!🙂

  4. muppy said:

    That’s funny I was at my dad’s farm on the weekend and he has a tree full of quince. I will have to make this🙂

    • Rita said:

      Do try to do something with quinces! They can give you great satisfactions!🙂

  5. Amanda said:

    Rita, you really have a knack for jams and jellies – these jars look just beautiful. We have some fruit trees and I made some very good plum jam and plum sauce last week. I love quince jelly and have a very fruitful quince tree, but I lack the patience that making quince jelly takes. I’ll have to wait for you to get yours online!

    • Rita said:

      Plum jams are sooooo yummy! I can’t wait to make some this summer! Quinces are tough: you really need to have a lot of patience to deal with them, but they give you such a great satisfaction! Now, I’m making quince liqueur, too…😛 I do hope to manage to sell jams someday… Who knows, it could be a funny business!!🙂

  6. Hi Rita, nice to see you back again. Your quince jelly looks so pretty in those jars. 🙂 Mandy

    • Rita said:

      Thanks Mandy! I’m glad to be back “at work”!😛

  7. Monet said:

    I understand how busy life can get! And I must say that this post was such a calming thing to read after a very busy day! Thank you for sharing such a delicious treat…and for your kind words on my own blog. They made my day!

    • Rita said:

      Thanks to you for stopping by and for your sweet words! I apppreciate your baking skills so much that I’m glad to have you here.

  8. Your photo’s look awesome! I love the minimalist concept, red and white. Awesome recipe as well!

    • Rita said:

      Thanks! Actually, we did such minimalist pics because we had no time to think of anything more “elaborated”. All the same the effect was pleasant.😛

  9. Tandy said:

    I am going to add this to my to do list! And maybe in a year I will be able to read the Italian fluently as I am going to try and learn the language I love the most this year🙂

    • Rita said:

      I hope the Italian translation below the recipes can help you learning a bit more! If you wish to know something aboout the Italian language, I’m glad to help you!😀

  10. Susi said:

    Rita, on this post today made me smile. My late grandmother used to make quince jelly every year and it was eagerly awaited. Since she passed, no one has ever made it since. After seeing your jelly, I will be on the hunt for quinces so I can make some myself. Thanks for sharing :o)

    • Rita said:

      Thanks to you for stopping by. Quince jelly must be a nice memory for you: I hope you can find quinces somewhere: unlickily, they’re rather hard to find.😦

  11. I looove your pictures. Always so bright and cheery. We just bought a light tent. Hopefully it helps us out since we work full time and cant take advantage of daylight! -L

    • Rita said:

      I’d love to buy a light tent, too, but maybe it’s not the right moment. We really want to improve our pics. Now we’re trying to do all we can with what we have: these pics, for instance, were taken outdoors, on a table in the garden.

  12. Your quince jelly looks so clear and jewel like! I’ve made quince paste (membrillo, here) before but never jelly. Your orange marmalade looks lovely too I’ve just made orange curd but still have a mountain of oranges so will be making this too! Amazingly can’t get Seville oranges here, I live 2 hours from Seville… They must all be exported!!

    • Rita said:

      I know about membrillo: I don’t know if it’s made like cotognata, but I suppose it’s quite similar. My husband’s Mexican abuelita loves membrillo. She said they used to have a quince tree at home and she used to eat membrillo when she was a little girl. About Seville oranges: well, that’s funny! I don’t think it really matters what oranges you use as long as they’re rather bitter. Seville is a variety very common in UK where they have it imported from Spain.

  13. Cindy said:

    I just love the photographic treatment, perfect!

  14. What beautiful pictures of your jelly. I’ve never made anything with quinces before, but always love the look of quince jelly.
    Lovely, lovely…

    • Rita said:

      Thanks for stopping by! I’ve just had a look at your blog and it’s amazing! We’ve got so many things in common!!!🙂

  15. Sara said:

    I’ve never cooked with quince…I’m not sure I’ve ever had one either. Will certainly try and track some down to give it a try. I’m feeling the urge to make some jellies and spreads of my own!

    • Rita said:

      Hi Sara! Making jellies is so funny (though a bit demanding…). I know quinces are sometimes hard to find, but if you happen to find some, they’ll surprise you!

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