First a little story. I am very fond of the flowers of the Japanese quince (Chaenomeles), I had one in the last house, so when I moved here I planted one in the garden.
However a few years ago it became infested with a pest that covered it in fine cobwebs and which died down in the winter but came again the next year, so in the end, reluctantly, I chopped it down.
I was not able to did out the root however so that sprouted and I couldn’t quite bring myself to keep cutting the sprouts off, so this year it was flowering and when I came to look on the ground a few weeks ago there were a whole load of quinces on the ground. I picked them up because you can make jam with them, which I had done previously.
There was in fact about 1lb (454gms). Here are some of them.I had plenty of granulated sugar so I decided one day to make them into jam.
First I chopped them up. Here you can see what they look like inside.
And here are some chopped in pieces. When they were all chopped I covered them with water. and simmered them for about an hour. I then sieved them to remove the skins and pith. Put them in a saucepan with about 20oz of granulated sugar and boiled them for about 10 minutes.I had forgotten to weigh them after I had prepared them but 20oz seemed about right (which it was).
Here are my brief instruction notes from my recipe box. Luckily I had written instructions on how to prepare the jars on the back. I don’t make jam very often!I went in the garage and got out some of my favourite hexagonal and multi-sided jars that I had saved. I prepared them before the jam was finished so I was able to quickly fill them and cover with wax discs. I found I only needed two.
Then later I added the lids. I used one of the other sterilised jars for some mint jelly I was making at the same time. The mint jelly had to wait till I next had lamb but I had to have a taste of the jam straightaway. Sharp (as I expected) but delicious!(I have been eating rice cakes rather than bread lately.)
I would be happy to make more jam but I have a problem. I buy jam: apricot for Battenburg or maybe Christmas or Simnel cake, strawberry for scones with cream when people come to tea. Then as I don’t eat a lot, (I mean jam isn’t good for you is it? all that sugar!) the jars last for ages. I’d like to start eating the quince jam now but I have a quarter full jar of apricot and another quarter of strawberry! and if I leave them too long they will only go mouldy! even in the fridge. 😦
Maybe I should make a Victoria sandwich and some jam tarts! Mmmm… 🙂