Sunshine in my shadows

Welcome to sunshine in my shadows. This blog is my space to share all the stuff that makes up my every day life. Family, friends, crafts, recipes, books and all the little things that add 'sunshine to my shadows'. We all have a sprinkling of sunshine and an equal sprinkling of shadows in our lives. Hopefully you will find more sunshine than shadows to read about here and on the days when shadows fall, know that the sunshine is peeking just around the corner!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Ugly ducklings and quince jelly...

We managed to beat the possums and cockatoos to the quinces this year and over the weekend I made quince jelly. Quinces must be one of the ugliest looking fruit around but once cooked or made into jam or jelly they are completely transformed. It's just like the ugly duckling changing into a beautiful swan!
They are bumpy and lumpy and covered in a soft, grey, downy fuzz. Somewhat like baby swans! (You rub the fuzz off before using them)
 Quinces start out green and yellow as they ripen . The variety we have doesn't seem to yellow up as much as some I have seen but when ripe the fruit will practically fall into your hand when touched.

Making quince jelly is a two day process. I followed a simple recipe I found on Best Recipes 
First of all you have to rub the fuzz off the quinces. You leave the skin on (it has good pectin levels and you need pectin to set your jam or jelly) and chop the fruit into pieces. I top and tailed the fruit but did not remove the cores and seeds for the same reason as leaving the skin on. I believe the skin is also what gives the jelly it's beautiful rose colour. You cook the fruit in water with some lemon peel. Then you have to strain the juice/liquid through a fine sieve overnight. (You need a really big pot for this)
It is important NOT to try to squish the fruit down to get more juice through the sieve as this will make your jelly go cloudy.

The next day you throw away the fruit (or add it to your compost) and cook the strained juice with the correct anount of sugar. Boil until setting point is reached and pour into sterilised jars. (There are important steps to note, follow your recipe)
The quinces look quite revolting at this stage - definately still ugly duckling stage!
If all goes well at the end you will be rewarded with a beautiful transformation. Jars of lovely rosy coloured quince jelly.

Quite a long process and somewhat time consuming but oh so worth it!
Quinces are also delicious stewed by themselves or with apples or rhubarb. They go a delicious pink!

wishing you sunshine in your shadows


  1. Beautiful description of quinces - the ugly duckling of the fruit world.

    Beautiful jams and jellies - what a transformation. The pink is beautiful.

    well done Helen - such an old fashioned fruit and it lovely to know that it is still being used and enjoyed.

    Love and hugs,

  2. That looks so yum!
    I love your description of them as they just aren't the prettiest fruit in the orchard but do go so well with cheese.

  3. Love quince jelly! I also love the fact that something that tastes delicious and is such a beautiful colour can be produced from what many would consider a throw away fruit.
    Stewed quince is very nice with a bit of icecream, especially when mixed with stewed apple.
    Haven't tried to make quince paste yet, but I'm tempted to - it costs a fortune!
    Love your autumn leaves background :)

  4. Thanks for the recipe - will be bookmarking in case my tree finally fruits properly this year. Looking good so far...

  5. Thanks ladies for your thoughtful comments. Linda I hate seeing what we have in the garden go to waste so am enjoying using it up when I can.

    Lynne I have never eaten quince with cheese, do you eat them raw like a pear or do you cook them?

    Kel yes many wouldn't look at quince twice, they don't know what they are missing! The autumn leaves were just one of Bloggers template options. They are beautiful aren't they.

    Lakota I hope you get lots of fruit. We hardly got any until the drought broke. This was the first year (in the last 3) that the trees fruited well enough to make it worthwhile making jelly.