Quince Jam and Preserves (Muraba’t Sparijleh)
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between jam, jelly, and preserves? I know I have! For that reason, I sit here pondering what to name this recipe; quince jam, or quince preserves? One thing I am certain of, it’s not quince jelly. As you can see, I took the easy way out and called it “Quince Jam AND Preserves.” What do you say we take a look at some of these differences?
What’s the Difference Between Jam, Jelly, and Preserves?
Jelly is made with fruit juice and has a firm and smooth jello-like consistency. As a result, I have never been a big fan of jelly, I prefer big, tasty chunks of fruit. Jam, however, is made with crushed fruit and has an even consistency, somewhere between jam and preserves. On the other hand, preserves is chunkier than jam and has larger pieces of fruit. You already know that I prefer preserves, but what I’d like to know is what’s your preference?
Quince Jam vs. Quince Preserves
Keeping the facts that I mentioned above in mind, I suppose this recipe can be called quince jam, or quince preserves. It all depends on whether you emulsify the quince at the end of the recipe, or leave them chunky. The ingredients are the same, the only difference is the texture. If you prefer the consistency of jam, use one of these handy emulsifiers to achieve the results you’re after.
When is Quince Available?
Unless you have access to a quince tree, they are pretty hard to come by. I’m looking forward to growing them on our property in Montana, as they can tolerate colder climates. But for now, I’ll have to purchase them in Fall. If you think that you might be interested in trying this recipe, please don’t wait too long. Before you know it, your window of opportunity will have slipped by. While you’re at it, buy a few extra so that you can also make some Quince Paste
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Assyrian quince jam recipe, just like mom used to make!
Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water and rinse. Sterilize the jars by boiling them for 10 minutes. Keep them in the hot water until needed.
Wash and chop the quince into 1" pieces. If you prefer, you can dice the quince into smaller pieces. Later in the process, I use a handheld immersion blender to break the quince down to the consistency that I like. If you don't want to do this, you can just dice them into smaller pieces now.
Place quince in a five qt. Dutch oven. Add enough water to completely cover the quince. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the quince, capturing the liquid. Reserve two cups of the liquid. This liquid will be used in the recipe instead of plain water because quince have a high pectin content. This will aid in the jelling process.
Place the quince back into the empty Dutch oven and add the remaining ingredients, including the reserved liquid. Bring to a boil, while stirring over medium heat.
Simmer anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the syrup thickens. Keep in mind the preserves will thicken further upon cooling off. At this point, you can use the immersion blender to break up the jam so it's less chunky, or leave it as is. Please be cautious so that you don't burn yourself from the inevitable splatter.
Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4” headspace.
Tighten the caps on the jars and place back into the boiling water, process for 10 minutes.
Use jar lifting tongs to remove the jars from the boiling water. Cool, then store up to a year.