Quinces are quite an old-fashioned fruit that not many people have these days but, if you are lucky to know someone with a tree who will share some with you, make the most of them as the taste is divine. They are like large ugly yellow very hard pears that turn a gorgeous ruby red when you cook them long enough.
5 large quinces
1.5 litres water
2.25 kg sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
Wipe the quinces well to remove the fuzz from the skin. You can boil them whole but if there are black spots and bugs then it is best to cut them into quarters and remove the damaged fruit first.
Add water and boil for 25-30 minutes in a preserving pan until the quinces are soft and the skin has split. Remove the fruit from the water and peel and core once cool enough to handle. Cut the fruit into pieces. If you want pieces of fruit suspended in jelly then cut them very small; I left mine larger as I was going to puree it.
Add sugar to the preserving pan with quince liquid and stir over a moderate heat until dissolved. Return the quince and lemon juice to the pan and boil for about 20 minutes or so until the fruit is a rosy pink colour. Blitz the jam using a stick blender if you wish and then boil the jam until it reaches jam setting point*.
Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.
* To test for setting point, put a small amount of jam on a cold saucer: if it wrinkles when you push your fingernail against it, the jam is ready.