How to process and use quince

As an old-fashioned autumn fruit, but tasty and healthy, quince can be processed and rewarded with sweetness and aroma. In addition, the fruit is excellent for making jelly, jam, compote and many other interesting creations. Even today, most varieties are found in the region around Iran and the Caucasus. But the quince has also become a home in European gardens. Here is some useful information, cooking methods and recipe ideas that you can try and enjoy yourself.

Use the best harvest time and process the quince

Process aromatic quinces and make quince jelly or jam in autumn

The bright yellow fruits belong to the apple and pear family. They smell so intoxicating that you’ll want to eat them straight from the tree. It is not such a good idea, however, as raw quinces are not sweet to the palate, having a harsh and bitter taste. Therefore, they again require careful cooking and loving care to become a treat for the senses. In addition, there is more vitamin C in a quince than an apple, as well as more health-promoting components, which have always made such fruits interesting for medicine. “Quince mud” obtained from quince seeds outside helps, for example, with wounds and sunburns, internally with coughs, fevers, intestinal problems and gastritis.

take advantage of the perfect time to harvest quince at the end of October and make the most of it

It is also the right time to harvest. Quinces only ripen in October, but must be harvested before the first frost. Sometimes very hard fruits can ripen inside. In terms of color, ripeness can be recognized by the full color of the fruit and the loss of the thick, smooth layer. So if you want to process the quince and make jam or jelly, you should harvest it earlier. Accordingly, the pectin content is highest at the beginning of ripening. So if you’re lucky enough to get a basket of this fruit, here’s how to bring it to its sweet and fragrant state.

Tips for storing and using fruit

after harvesting, remove the natural fluff from the quince and wipe it with a cloth

At first glance, quince does not seem inviting. It’s hard, woody, astringent and generally seems useless. However, the fruit smells like it grows on the side of your window or sitting in the back seat of your car. This indicates that there may be more than you think. Quinces harvested early can be stored in the cellar or other cool place for two to four weeks. During this time they develop their full aroma. Fully ripe fruits, on the other hand, must be processed directly. It is best to leave the quinces alone, as their strong aroma can spread to the surrounding fruit and possibly spoil it.

quince harvested in October or autumn, made into jam or jelly and eaten as a spread

As mentioned, quince is related to apple and pear. When you cook the fruit, it takes on some of the best aspects of its relatives: the floral aroma of pears and the firmness of apples. It also gets its amazing coral color at the same time. However, the color is just one of the many benefits that make quince such a treat.

Process ripened and cooked autumn fruits, such as quince, and combine them with dishes

Due to its high pectin concentration, quince can gel particularly well. Roughly chopped, hard fruits take about 20 to 30 minutes to cook. Therefore, they are suitable for compote, jelly, jam, sweet cider and liqueurs. But baked goods and others also get a natural sweetness and a special culinary note by adding a small amount of quince.

This is how quinces can be processed

Process quince by boiling the cut parts to make compote

Before processing the fruit, rub the remaining smooth coating on the bowl with kitchen paper, otherwise it will distort the taste. Most recipes do not call for blanching the quince. If you do, don’t throw away the shells. Dried, they smell heavenly and are perfect for herbal tea blends. Below is a classic quince jelly or jam recipe that you can make at home.

Prepare jelly or jam from quince

Homemade quince as a healthy jam or with oatmeal for breakfast

Every autumn, jams or jellies made from fruits that you can buy or pick from the garden are an irresistible treat. Quince jelly is especially delicious, which you can prepare yourself after a few simple steps.


  • 1 kg of quince
  • 750 ml of water
  • 500 g of canned sugar 1:1
  • Vanilla bean, star anise and whole grain


  • First, wipe the fruit with a kitchen towel to remove the pulp.
  • If necessary, remove the flower, stem and seeds as well and cut the fruit into small pieces.
  • Then cook the quince in hot water for 20-30 minutes. To avoid burning, be sure to stay close and keep stirring the mixture.
  • You can also add a vanilla bean, star anise and whole grains for more aroma and flavor.
  • When the fruit is cooked soft, drain the cooking water through a coarse sieve. You can also use the resulting sauce.
  • Now pass the strained liquid through a fine-mesh cloth to filter out even the last impurities.
  • Then mix the rest of the viscous liquid in a 1:1 ratio (one liter of liquid to preserve 1 kilogram of sugar) and boil for four minutes.
  • Depending on your taste, you can now finish it with lemon, rum or cognac.
  • After it has set, put the gelatin clean and better yet warm.
  • You can use the mentioned quince jam in the production as a spread. This specialty was served with Christmas cookies.

Homemade quince vinegar recipe

Process ripe, aromatic quinces and ferment them into homemade quince vinegar

Here is another recipe idea that will help you take advantage of the health benefits of this versatile fruit. Get the best out of quince by making a natural vinegar. Follow the steps below and enjoy your natural product at home. The recipe is for 5 liters of vinegar.


  • 3 kg of quince
  • 1 kg of sugar
  • 11 g or 1 packet of bread yeast
  • 1 cup homemade vinegar


process the chopped quince in a small pot and boil it with star anise, cinnamon and cardamom seeds

  • First cut the quince into large pieces, 4 or 6.
  • Boil the fruit pieces in 12 cups (3 liters) of water for 10 minutes to soften.
  • After that, you can blend, mash or finely chop the fruit.
  • Then add sugar, another 3 liters of water and yeast.
  • First, put everything in a suitable container for alcoholic fermentation.
  • After 15-20 days, depending on the temperature, which must be above 18ºC, the process must be monitored. It should not be sweet, the liquid should be slightly bitter and smell strongly of quince and alcohol.
  • Now strain the mixture, add a cup of homemade vinegar or a sponge cake of vinegar and pour the vinegar into a suitable container for fermentation – in this case, if possible, a barrel with mineral water.
  • There must be enough free space in the barrel and free access to oxygen.
  • Quince production requires a temperature above 18ºC and the presence of oxygen. The time required for this is about 2 months.
  • If you want to enjoy the great taste and aroma of quince vinegar, you must leave it in the containers for at least 3-4 months.

How to process and spiced quince compote

make quince compote and add star anise to it for extra flavor and aroma when cooking

Finally, you can serve this quince compote recipe as a dipping sauce with desserts and you can also use it for savory dishes. Plus, a spiced version of quince compote is a great way to get the most out of this unusual pear-like fruit. So, if you are looking for an easy quince recipe, you can try the following suggestion. It is intended for 4 servings, but you can change the amounts according to your wishes.


  • 3 quinces peeled, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 300 ml of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • Anise star, 1 piece
  • ground ginger, 1 tsp
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or more if you want a sweeter taste


make healthy and delicious quince compote and serve with desserts or dishes

  • First squeeze the lemon in 200 ml of water and immediately put the prepared quince in the lemon water so that they don’t turn red.
  • When ready to cook, drain and wash the quince and place in a medium saucepan with the spices, maple syrup and another 100ml of water.
  • Then bring everything to a boil and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes until the quince is soft.
  • Finally, ditch all the spices and serve the quince warm, on its own, with a hearty meal or with oatmeal for breakfast.

Process the quince seeds and make a healing slime

Process the quince seeds and use the water to make quince mud as a home remedy

In addition to a lot of vitamin C, quince contains a lot of zinc, sodium, iron, copper, manganese, fluorine and folic acid. Also, like currants, the fruit has a record level of pectin, which helps digestion, lowers cholesterol and detoxifies the body. The tannins and vitamin A contained in quince relieve gout and arteriosclerosis. For example, if you also suffer from fatigue or a feeling of weakness, you can combat these conditions with quince products because of their high potassium content.

Tincture of preserved quince used for cough medicine, which has medicinal properties

However, quince seeds are noteworthy. They contain a large amount of sludge. “Quince” was a common medicine available in pharmacies, but is now out of fashion, perhaps because of the name. Applied externally, the mud helps fight sunburns, chapped skin, and even inflamed eyes. If you drink it, it is said to fight sore throats and bronchitis as well as inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Combining uncrushed quince seeds with water creates an effective home remedy. Making it yourself is very easy: Mix quince seeds, as they are, with water in a ratio of 1:8. Then leave the mixture for 15 minutes. You can then stuff the resulting mucus and use it externally or internally, depending on your symptoms.

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