If you’re lucky enough to have a quince tree–or a friend with one–it’s time to start planning how to make use of all the stunning fruit. Why not give pickling a try? Here’s our recipe for sweet picked quince cubes that go well on a salad, as a mini-side dish or served as a garnish alongside pork roast, ham, or lamb.
Dress up your canned quince pickles with labels and hang tags to turn them into a heartwarming gift. Design tip: choose a label color that contrasts with your canned product to create a stunning look–here aruba colored labels and tags set off the rusty orange of the pickled quince (and Jolene’s auburn hair).
No spices are needed; quince has its own beautifully delicate flavor. Quince needs to cook slowly for several hours to allow the fruit to achieve its characteristic rich deep red color. This recipe makes about 6 half-pint (one cup) jars of pickled quince.
- 2-1/4 pounds quinces
- 2-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp pickling salt
- Peel quinces and cut into about one-inch cubes. Use a very sharp knife – and be careful, quinces are very firm!
- Submerge half-pint canning jars in a large pot filled with water, boil gently for at least ten minutes. Keep the jars in the hot water until ready to use.
- In a smaller pot, do the same for the two-piece canning lids.
- Heat the vinegar and sugar in a pan over medium heat until it comes to a slow boil. Simmer for five minutes until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the quince cubes, making sure there is enough syrup to just cover the quinces. If not, add more vinegar and sugar at a 5:4 ratio.
- Cook quince in syrup on a very slow simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the cubes are pink and tender but not mushy.
- If the mixture runs low on syrup, add water and stir gently.
- When the quince cubes have reached the desired color and consistency, and while they are still simmering, remove the sterilized half-pint jars from the hot water, drain, then fill with the quince cubes to 1/2 inch from the top. Fill with boiling syrup to cover the cubes.
- Wipe rim of jars with a clean damp paper towel, put two-piece lids on and screw down tight.
- Turn upside-down for five minutes, then turn back right side up (this will help them seal).
- Allow to cool completely, then rinse the jars and lids in cool water to wash off any residue syrup.
- Store in a cool dark place until ready to serve. The color of the pickled quince will continue to deepen over time.