Quince Marmalade or Jam, Recel Ftoi in Albanian is my moms favourite! Growing up I called them dunja pronounced dunya, as my mom grew up in Macedonia, so that is what she always calls them…just recently I found out in Albanian they are called ftoi, for the jam I grew up and still call it marmalat which is how it is said in Albanian as well as recel. Quince are delightful smelling fruit that are not edible raw, but they do make tasty jams and fillings for cookies or pies.
Quince fruit are ready and ripe between the middle of October till mid November. I am lucky to have a quince tree in my backyard, you don’t see too many quince trees here in Canada as its too cold! My mom planted my tree years ago, she got a branch from her neighbour who had planted his trees a long time ago, it took about 13 years for mine to finally grow blossoms and produce fruit! Last year we didn’t get any fruit as the frost came in and froze all the blossoms.
My mom always chopped her fruit, but I got the idea of grating it from simplyrecipes…what a great idea!
Now because I use my homegrown quince, they are not perfect, they have spots and I have to cut around some of them, I do not use any pesticides or any kind of spray on them…its all natural! I have to go through around 10 quinces, as I have to cut the bad parts off, and they come in different sizes. If you are buying your quince make sure they are in good condition and a good size.
To make Thumbprint Cookies with Jam follow this link: thumbprint-cookies
My Adaptation from simplyrecipes Quince Jam recipe.
To make marmalade:
- 6 cups of grated quince fruit (4-6 fruit depending the size)
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- juice of half a orange
- juice of half a lemon
- 4 cups sugar
- 4 and 1/3 cups boiled water*
- 1 -57 g pectin crystals*
Wash fruit, because mine are homegrown I leave the peel on. I like to rinse my fruit from the grocery store with vinegar and water, I think that would be fine if you want to keep the peel on, if you prefer you may peel the skin. Grate the quinces, discard the core as you would for an apple.
Meanwhile bring the water to boil, (I use a tea kettle for that, works faster).
Add the grated quince to a large pot and pour the water over, bring to a boil and then add the lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest and sugar, lower the heat to medium and let it cook for 45-60 minutes, fruit should be fully cooked and mixture thickened, it might happen sooner or later for you, keep an eye on it, my stove top is a bit slow.
If your are using pectin, prepare pectin with 3/4 cup boiling water, bring to a boil and allow to boil for one minute. Pour the pectin mixture into the fruit, as you stir it thickens up, you may only need half the amount, I use all of it. Allow to cool. Pour into prepared cleaned jars (you will need 5 or 6 depending on the size of jars). Store in fridge for a week, freeze for 6-8 months. Enjoy!
*The pectin is optional, because quince fruit naturally has a good amount of pectin, it thickens well on its own, however I like to use pectin for two reasons, one it gives it a nice glossy look, and two I like the texture of the liquid when I add it.
*If you are not using pectin use 4 and 1/4 cups of water.