Quince was Eileen Croskey’s late father-in-law’s favorite jelly. “His old farmstead, like most in Western Pennsylvania, had a quince tree. Everything that was grown was made the most of. Nothing was wasted. Quince jelly was quite the treat because of its tartness and because of the amount of sugar used. It was a bit of a luxury,” she says when asked about the jelly’s backstory. The recipe yields a gleaming, amber-brown jelly whose sweet-and-tart taste is exquisite as part of a cream cheese sandwich on pumpernickel toast. You can add slices of grilled pear or plum, and even a scattering of sprouts or a bit of fresh radicchio.
QUINCE JELLY RECIPE
5 cups of fresh quince, peeled, cored, and cubed into 1/2 pieces
1/2 cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
1 package pectin
7 ½ cups sugar
9 pint canning jars (you’ll have a little left over)
(Note: Preparing the quince cubes is not easy because the fruit is tough…but persevere!)
1. Place quince cubes and water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally, especially as the water cooks down.
2. When the quince reaches the consistency of applesauce, it is ready. You may need to add a dash of water here and there if the water cooks away too quickly.
3. Add lemon juice and pectin and bring to a rolling boil.
4. Stir in sugar. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring continuously.
5. Pour into sterilized canning jars and seal. When cool, place in fridge for safekeeping.
STORY BY KEITH RECKER / STYLING BY ANNA CALABRESE / PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVE BRYCE
Try some of TABLE’s grilled treats after you’ve had a glass of white wine and a a Quince Jelly tartine:
Grilled Porch Chops with Grilled Pineapple
Skirt Steak and Scallion Salsa
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