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Quince "de Vranja" - less pectin!

I'm aware that most of you probably aren't growing tree quinces, but there are probably others Out There on t'Interwebulator looking for answers on this...

We have a tiny "Food Forest" in our front garden, which consists of an Egremont Russet apple, two hazel nut trees, redcurrants, rhubarb, a Jostaberry and two "de Vranja" quince trees. I adore the taste of quince, and they are graceful little trees with beautiful blossom in spring. Whenever I've made preserves from the quince fruit in the past, it's been mixed with crab apple (foraged) or Chaenomeles (Japonica) quinces. But this year, thanks to the weather, the quinces trees have outperformed everything; they've been laden with golden fruits. So I thought I didn't need to bulk out my savoury jam (quince, pineapple, chilli & rosemary) or my attempted Membrillo (quince cheese)...

To my horror, nothing has set, despite eventually despairing & throwing a bottle of Certo in. I've been hunting for answers - did I overboil it? (Never even looked likely to wrinkle, actually) Should I have strained the pulp for longer? (Not mentioned in any recipes) Was it that great stand-by-excuse of my ex-professional-Cook elderly aunt, The Atmospherics? But today I've stumbled across this (courtesy of https://www.goodfood.com.au/archived/hardy-quince-truly-versatile-20140330-35skp

"The De Vranja quince from Serbia matures early as well. It is a sweet quince, but the fruit has less pectin than most others." So if anybody's looking for answers as to why their failsafe recipes did fail, or to plant a quince or two for future tangy deliciousness, that's a nugget of useful information. I'd add that the fruit is somewhat prone to splitting in our usual soggy summers! But still delicious.

So - we now have a freezer full of fairly sweet quince pulp, which will be stirred into porrage and added into crumbles. And 10 jars of delicious quince, pineapple, chilli & rosemary sauce, which will be great in stir-fries with our kale, chard, Asturian Tree Cabbage etc. or as a glaze on a roast! Off now to urban-forage some Chaenomeles quinces to add pectin (and a spicy little tang) to the next batch...
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  • KajiKita
    KajiKita Posts: 4,008 Forumite
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    I was thinking of adding a quince and a medlar to our garden, so this is good to know  :)

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  • thriftwizard
    thriftwizard Posts: 4,682 Forumite
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    edited 23 October 2022 at 4:45PM
    Turns out I didn't need to raid our friends' roadside Japonica quince for extra pectin - went to visit DD1 at her place of work this afternoon, and there's a lovely bountiful little crab apple tree right there on the lawn by the river, with no-one using the fruit! I didn't even make a dent in the pile of windfalls but I have plenty now.  :)
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  • nachtvlinders
    I have a quince tree that you can have for free - it came from a permaculture nursery in Awsworth (Cool Temperate, but not operating anymore). It's about 6' and 5' wide and about 8 or so years old. It fruited for the 2nd time last year. I'm in Nottingham should you wish to visit it first. DM if you're interested. 
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,722 Forumite
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    Interesting. I understood to add cooking apples and/or lemon juice for setting. If you can be bothered to boil the cores thats better.
    I've had the same problem with raspberry freezer jam which just thickens not sets like it should. But it's still great for flavour with lots of things. Got the recipe from a lady i met on the moors lol. 

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