Quince & rosewater jelly and quince paste

Quince & rosewater jelly and quince paste

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 10 mins - 2 hrs, 25 mins Plus draining and chilling

More effort

Makes about 1kg jelly and 1.7kg paste

This makes two preserves in one, as pulp left over from making the jelly is used to make quince paste, also known as 'membrillo' in Spain

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 2kg quince, peeled, cored and roughly chopped



    The two different shapes - apple and pear in which quinces grow are an obvious clue to the…

  • pared zest and juice 1 lemon (use a vegetable peeler)



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • about 1½ kg/3lb 5oz preserving sugar
  • knob of butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 tbsp rosewater


    Put the quinces and lemon zest and juice in a large heavy-based pan. Add enough water to cover the fruit. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hr until the quinces are very tender. Strain through a jelly bag or muslin-lined colander. Do not press out the juice – just leave it for at least 4 hrs, or ideally overnight, until the juice has dripped through.

  2. Put 3 saucers in the freezer. Measure the juice and return it to the pan (reserve the leftover fruit for the paste). For each 1 litre juice, add 750g sugar (or for each 100ml juice, add 75g sugar). Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then boil hard until set. This could take between 5 and 20 mins. To test for set, spoon a little onto a chilled saucer, leave for 1 min, then push your finger through the juice. If it wrinkles, the jelly is set. If not, return to the heat and boil again for a few mins, then test again.

  3. Remove from the heat and skim off any surface scum with a slotted spoon. Stir in the butter to dissolve any leftover sediment, then stir in the rose water. Pot into sterilised jars, seal and label. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

    Line a 16 x 24cm shallow oblong tin or tray with baking parchment. Tip the reserved fruit into a food processor and whizz to make a smooth-ish paste. Weigh the paste and for each 1kg paste, add 750g sugar (or for each 100g paste, add 75g sugar).

  5. Tip the paste and sugar into a large heavy-based pan and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat and cook, stirring regularly, for 30-45 mins until the paste is thick and golden, and leaves a gap when you run a wooden spoon across the base of the pan. Be careful as the mixture will spit at you and can burn. Spoon into the tin or tray and smooth the top. Leave to cool, then chill overnight until it is very firm.

  6. Wrap the paste in fresh baking parchment, then over-wrap in foil and store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th Dec, 2018
I was given 800g quinces and wanted to make both jelly and paste but was concerned about discarding the cores and skins for the sake of a smooth paste as I had such a small quantity. My workaround was to tie the skins and cores into a muslin square and added the bundle to the cooking pot. I did give it a good squeeze at the end of boiling time too although the recipe tells you not to. My jelly is good and clear but a dark pink and not much of it. We don’t have sweet tooth’s in our house so I only did 50g sugar to 100ml liquid. Jelly tastes lovely. Not tried the paste yet but it looks good and smooth and both will feature on my Xmas table this year!
12th Oct, 2015
I have a quince tree (Meech's prolific) that regularly produces 100 quinces - so I've been making quince jelly and cheese and quince gin for 10 or more years. However, I'm interested in the use of the paste from the quince jelly - surely blitzing the remnants in a food processor won't get rid of the pips and peel? I tend to peel the quinces and take out the pip section before doing quince cheese and getting a good jelly as a sideproduct rather than vice versa. Please advise.
5th Jan, 2015
The quince jelly is really good and a fabulous way of using the loads of quinces we have here in Greece. Its great on toast, crumpets and i add it to my porridge in winter. Would not change any of the recipe. When done it is a deep red and keeps well.
27th May, 2014
I've just made both the jelly and the paste in this recipe - It tastes amazing!! A quick question - I love the colour of the jelly in the photo is a really pale golden. It took twice the time advised to cook/set the jelly. Mine was quite a deep pink by the time it was at set point - any advice on how to achieve the set point quicker? Thank you very much!
11th Oct, 2015
No idea why the picture shows a golden quince jelly; it is always pink or even red if you add lemon juice. You will find an explanation for this here: http://www.kitchenchemology.com/recipes/quince-paste-red
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