Membrillo and Quince Jelly and Quince Syrup

This is adapted from one of Jordan’s classes from Happy Girl Kitchen. This was my introduction to quince. I am always surprised at the deep red color the jelly, syrup and membrillo turn into when done.

Quince has a very distinctive smell and taste: it is floral soap in fruit form. Most find it inedible, but it is fun to try, if only to say “wow, so dry”.


  • 10 pounds quince
  • 13 C sugar (we use organic evaporated cane juice – it is just less processed sugar)
  • food mill
  • cheesecloth
  • bakery pan lightly oiled
  • sugar for dusting
  • wax paper
  1. Remove the fuzzy coating of the quince.
  2. Roughly chop the quince into large chunks, putting aside peels and cores for pectin stock.
  3. Pour water to nearly cover the fruit
  4. Cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes, or until fruit is soft and very tender.
  5. Strain the liquid through a cheese cloth (we use 2 bread flour sacks) into a collander, over a bowl. Do not squeeze. Put the juice aside for the jelly. (below, starting with step #3)
  6. Mash with a potato masher.
  7. Press the mixture through a food mill or fine sieve into a bowl. If you have a very fine sieve, scrape the bottom a lot to allow the paste through. (A good food mill will shine in this endeavor, a bad one will make you wish you hadn’t spent the money.)
  8. Pour into a large pot and add the sugar. The ratio should be 2C sugar for every 2.5 C of puree. (10C paste = 8C sugar)
  9. Heat and gently stir until sugar has dissolved.
  10. Increase heat and cook 25-45 min, stirring frequently until very thick. Watch out since this will burp and spit and burn you pretty easily.
  11. Pour into bakery pan and leave in a warm dry spot for 12-18 hours. Flip and let other side dry.
  12. Cut into small squares, dust with sugar and store in airtight container for up to 6 months

Quince Jelly / Syrup

  • you should have about 10 C of juice after they have cooked
  • 8C sugar (2 C of sugar for each 2 1/2 C of quince juice)
  • 1 or 2 jalapeños (optional)
  1. If using fresh quince, rinse and chop. Place in pot with water and simmer 50 minutes (soft and pulpy).
  2. Strain through a jelly bag or cheesecloth.
  3. Pour into clean pot and add in 2C sugar for every 2.5 C of juice. You should have about 20 C of juice, so about 16 C of sugar.
  4. Simmer for 45-50 minutes until thick and red. At 220° it was “like jello”. At 227°F it was thick and a deep red.
  5. If adding jalapeños, throw them in now and cook for 1 min.
  6. Process 6 min for quarter pints, 8 min for half pints, 10 min for pints, if they are coming straight from the pot (which they should)
Yields 20 half pints of jelly
  1. Take the detritus from the first recipe and boil in a bit of water for an hour until not so watery (but getting it thick wouldn’t hurt either)
  2. Pressure can the devils.

Nov 2013:
All but 6 fruit for this. 21C fruit and 16.8c sugar. Used mills and got more stuff in there, but not chewy. Just looks a bit off. Pectin must have been leached into membrillo mass since it is very thick on low after just 10 min. It is much faster but not as good of a result. says wait until 220-222°F, or just put on cold plate and push with finger to see if it wrinkles.

Sept 2014

Guy at Mission Farmer’s market said he had quince starting the first week of September, so missed out for several weeks.

Let it get a deep red and mixed a lot instead of a high boil. Simmered for over an hour. Close to 2, with active stirring the last 45 min.

10C liquid. 1.8# sugar (6C) was too much sugar. 5.8# quince, uncut

Sept 2017

try with amaretto this time

10# uncut fruit
17C liquid
28C sugar (x200g/C = 5.6kg)


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