Quince & Rosemary Jelly is the last preserve of the year that we make with produce from the Garden at Number 27.
We are always inundated with quince and, as they are so hard and don't taste so good raw, there are a very limited number of uses for the abundance of fruit.
This jelly can be used in place of redcurrant jelly in stews or as an accompaniment for meat dishes. Since making this jelly I haven't bought any redcurrant jelly at all!
Makes - about 900g/2lb
Preparation Time - 20 Minutes
Cooking Time - 40 Minutes
Straining Time - Approximately 3 hours
900g quinces, cut into small pieces, with bruised parts removed
900ml-1.2 litres water
4 large sprigs fresh rosemary
900g preserving sugar
Put the chopped quinces in a pan with the water, using the smaller volume of water if they are ripe, and more - plus a little lemon juice - if they are hard. Reserve a few sprigs of rosemary, adding the rest to the pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently until the fruit becomes pulpy.
Remove and discard the rosemary sprigs. Pour into a sterilised jelly bag suspended over a bowl. Leave for 3 hours, or until the juices stop dripping. Do not squeeze the bag. If you do this your jelly will not be clear.
Measure the drained juice into a pan, adding 450g sugar for every 600ml of juice. Heat gently over a low heat, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly for about 10 minutes until the jelly reaches setting point (105 degrees).
Remove from the heat. Skim off any scum, then cool for a few minutes until a thin skin forms on the surface. Place a sprig of fresh rosemary in each warmed sterilised jar, then pour in the jelly. Cover and seal. Store in a cool dark place and use within 1 year.