Delia Smith Quince Jelly Recipe

Last updated on March 30, 2024

Delia Smith Quince Jelly Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 2 Hr Total Time: 2 Hr 30 Mins

Delia Smith’s Quince Jelly is an exquisite condiment, combining the unique tartness of quince with the sweetness of sugar to create a luxurious jelly. Perfect for pairing with meats, cheeses, or simply spread on toast, this jelly elevates any dish it accompanies.

This recipe serves multiple purposes and can be prepared in a few hours, including cooking and setting time.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of creating Delia Smith’s Quince Jelly from start to finish. You’ll learn not just the steps but also the small details that make a big difference in achieving the perfect consistency and flavor.

What is Delia Smith Quince Jelly?

Delia Smith Quince Jelly is a vibrant, fragrant preserve made from the fruit of the quince tree. Known for its firm texture and tart flavor, quince transforms into a beautifully translucent jelly under Delia Smith’s expert guidance, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.

Quince Jelly Recipe Delia Smith

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Unique Flavor: The distinctive taste of quince sets this jelly apart from other fruit preserves.
  • Versatile Use: It pairs wonderfully with a variety of foods, enhancing both sweet and savory dishes.
  • Elegant Addition: Its luxurious texture and appearance make it an impressive accompaniment for special occasions.
  • Satisfying to Make: There’s something incredibly rewarding about turning the hard, sour quince into a delicate, flavorful jelly.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Quince Jelly

  • Quinces, washed and chopped (no need to peel or core) – 2 kilograms
  • Water – Enough to cover the quinces in the pan
  • Granulated sugar – Approximately 1 cup per cup of juice extracted
  • Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons (to help set the jelly)

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Quince Jelly

Step 1: Preparing the Quinces

Place the chopped quinces into a large, heavy-based pan. Add enough water to cover the fruit. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 2 hours, or until the quinces are soft and the liquid has turned a deep pink color.

Step 2: Extracting the Juice

Line a large sieve with a clean muslin cloth or a jelly bag and place it over a large bowl. Carefully ladle the cooked quince and liquid into the sieve and allow it to strain through overnight. Avoid pressing the mixture to ensure a clear jelly.

Step 3: Measuring and Boiling the Juice

Measure the extracted juice and pour it into a clean pan. For every liter of juice, add 750g of granulated sugar and the juice of 2 lemons. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.

Step 4: The Final Boil

Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. Boil vigorously for about 10-15 minutes, or until the jelly reaches the setting point. You can test this by dropping a little jelly onto a cold plate; it should wrinkle when pushed with a finger.

Step 5: Jarring

Once the jelly has reached setting point, remove the pan from the heat and skim off any scum. Carefully ladle the hot jelly into sterilized jars, seal immediately, and label once cool.

Delia Smith Quince Jelly

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Quince Jelly?

Delia Smith Quince Jelly’s unique blend of sweetness and tartness makes it a versatile companion to many dishes.

Here are some delightful ways to incorporate this exquisite jelly into your meals:

  • Cheese Pairing: A perfect accompaniment to a variety of cheeses, enhancing the flavors of both soft and hard cheeses.
  • Glazing Meats: Brush it over meats like beef or lamb for a glossy, flavorful glaze.
  • Morning Delight: Spread it on warm, buttered toast or croissants for a luxurious breakfast treat.
  • Dessert Enhancement: Serve it alongside desserts such as cheesecake or panna cotta for an extra touch of elegance.
  • Sandwich Spread: Elevate your sandwich game by using quince jelly as a spread, adding a sweet contrast to savory ingredients.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Quince Jelly

Achieving the perfect set and flavor for your Delia Smith Quince Jelly can be a rewarding experience.

Here are some pro tips to ensure success every time:

  • Optimal Pectin Levels: Ensure your quinces are slightly underripe for higher natural pectin content, crucial for setting the jelly.
  • Gentle Cooking: Cook the quinces gently to preserve their delicate aroma and prevent the jelly from becoming too dark.
  • Clarifying the Juice: For a crystal-clear jelly, resist the temptation to squeeze the jelly bag when straining the quince mixture.
  • Accurate Measurement: Use a candy thermometer to precisely gauge when the jelly has reached the setting point.
  • Sterilizing Jars: Always pour the jelly into sterilized jars to extend its shelf life and maintain quality.

Variations of Delia Smith Quince Jelly

Experimenting with variations can add exciting new flavors to the traditional Delia Smith Quince Jelly recipe.

Here are some creative ideas:

  • Vanilla Infused: Add a vanilla pod to the cooking quinces for a subtle, warm flavor.
  • Spiced Quince Jelly: Incorporate spices such as cinnamon, star anise, or cloves during the cooking process for a spiced twist.
  • Rosewater Quince Jelly: A splash of rosewater added just before canning introduces a floral note, perfect for pairing with Middle Eastern desserts.
  • Apple-Quince Blend: Mix quinces with apples for a jelly that combines the best of both fruits, offering a more complex flavor profile.
  • Chili Quince Jelly: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, adding a few chili flakes can create a jelly that’s sweet with a spicy kick, ideal for glazing meats.

How do I Store Delia Smith Quince Jelly Leftovers?

Proper storage of Delia Smith Quince Jelly will ensure that it retains its flavor and texture for as long as possible.

Here are some tips for storing your jelly leftovers effectively:

  • In the Pantry: Keep unopened jars of quince jelly in a cool, dark place like a pantry. A properly sealed jar can last for up to a year.
  • Refrigeration: Once opened, refrigerate the jelly. It will keep well for up to 3 months when stored in the refrigerator.
  • Airtight Containers: Transfer any jelly not in its original jar to an airtight container to preserve its freshness.
  • Label and Date: Mark jars with the canning date. This helps you keep track of how long the jelly has been stored.

How do I Reheat Delia Smith Quince Jelly Leftovers?

Reheating quince jelly may be necessary if it has been stored in the fridge and you prefer it at room temperature or slightly warmed for serving.

Here’s how to gently reheat your jelly:

  • Water Bath: Place the jelly jar in a small pot of warm water on low heat until the jelly softens to your desired consistency.
  • Microwave Method: For a quicker option, transfer a small amount of jelly to a microwave-safe dish and heat it in short bursts, stirring between each, until just warm.
  • Avoid Boiling: Never boil the jelly during reheating as this can alter its texture and flavor.
  • Stir Gently: If using the microwave or water bath method, stir the jelly gently to ensure even warming.

Nutritional Value (per tablespoon, approximately):

  • Calories: 48 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Sugars: 12 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sodium: 1 mg

Delia Smith Quince Jelly Recipe


Can I Make Quince Jelly Without Adding Lemon Juice?

Yes, you can make quince jelly without adding lemon juice. The natural acidity of quinces is usually sufficient to ensure a good set. However, a splash of lemon juice can enhance the jelly’s flavor and color, making it brighter and more vibrant.

How Long Does Homemade Quince Jelly Last?

Homemade quince jelly, when properly stored in sterilized jars and kept in a cool, dark place, can last for up to 2 years unopened. Once opened, it’s best to refrigerate the jelly and consume it within 3 months for optimal flavor and freshness.

What’s the Best Way to Check if My Quince Jelly Has Set?

The best way to check if your quince jelly has set is to perform the “wrinkle test.” Place a small amount of the hot jelly on a cold plate and let it cool for a moment. Push it gently with your finger; if the surface wrinkles, the jelly has reached the setting point. If not, continue cooking and check again in a few minutes.

Can Quince Jelly Be Used as a Glaze for Meat?

Absolutely, quince jelly makes an excellent glaze for meats, particularly lamb. Its unique blend of sweetness and tartness can add depth and complexity to savory dishes. Simply warm the jelly to soften it and brush it over the meat during the last few minutes of cooking for a delicious, glossy finish.

Final Words

Delia Smith’s Quince Jelly recipe is more than just a cooking project; it’s a delightful journey into the world of homemade preserves. With its unique flavor and versatility, it can elevate simple meals to something truly special. Whether you’re spreading it on toast or pairing it with cheese, this jelly is sure to impress. Remember, the key to perfect jelly lies not just in following the recipe but in enjoying the process. Happy cooking!

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