Quince: How to can your own homemade quince - canned quince: complete, easy directions with photos

This month's notes: July 2014: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries tomatoes, corn and most vegetables are being picked in most places; strawberries are finishing or done; Peaches are in and early apples will start in late July. Find a local blueberry festival and blueberry picking tips here. See how easy it is to make strawberry jam or strawberry-rhubarb jam! Make your own homemade strawberry ice cream including low fat, low sugar and other flavors))  Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy canning and freezing directions!

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How to Make Homemade Canned Quince

Click here for a PDF print version!

quinceIt's easy to can your own quince! Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. In the winter when you open a jar, the quince will taste MUCH better than anything you've ever had from a store, and by selecting the right fruit, it will use less sugar than store-bought canned quince. Quince can be packed in very light, light or medium sugar syrup. They can also be packed in water, apple juice or white grape juice.

Prepared this way, the jars have a shelf life of about 12 to 18 months, and aside from storing in a cool, dark place, require no special attention.

You might also be interested in making quince butter; just use the pear butter recipe!  Or Quince preserves / jam.

Directions for Making Canned Quince

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Fruit (see step 1)
  • Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)
  • Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the boiling water where you sanitize them. ($2 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates)
  • Jar funnel ($2 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates)
  • At least 1 large pot
  • Large spoons and ladles
  • Ball jars (Publix, Kroger, other grocery stores and some "big box" stores carry them - about $8 per dozen quart jars including the lids and rings)
  • Sugar (or fruit juice, or Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda), or just water!)
  • 1 Water Bath Canner (a huge pot with a lifting rack to sanitize the jars of quince after filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates) You CAN use a large pot instead, but the canners are deeper, and have a rack top make lifting the jars out easier. If you plan on canning every year, they're worth the investment.

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Selecting the quince

The most important step!  You need quince that are sweet, and ripe.  A little known fact: like pears, Quince are picked unripe - they don't ripen well on the tree. So, unlike peaches, or apples quince WILL ripen at home! Proper ripeness of quince at canning time is important to the quality
of the product; as it affects color, flavor, aroma, and over-all quality of finished product

Choose ripe, mature fruit of ideal quality for eating fresh or cooking. They should not be mushy, but they also should not be rock hard: just as ripe as you would eat them fresh. If they are to be transported or not processed immediately, pick while slightly green and allow them to ripen in a cool, dark place.

Store fresh quince in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Step 2 - How many quince and where to get them

An average of 17½ pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 11 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 50 pounds and yields 16 to 25 quarts – an average of 2½ pounds per quart.   A pound of quince yields 2 cups of sliced quince.

You can pick your own, or buy them at the grocery store.  But for large quantities, you'll find that real* farmer's markets, like the Farmer's Market in Forest Park, Georgia have them at the best prices. 

* - not the cutesy, fake farmer's markets that are just warehouse grocery stores that call themselves farmer's markets.

Step 3 - Prepare the sugar (or other sweetener) solution

Quince must be packed in a solution of water and sugar or fruit juice.  It's up to you which to use.  Sugar is added to improve flavor, help stabilize color, and retain the shape of the fruit. It is not added as a preservative. Sugar solution is much less expensive (unless you have a supply of cheap grape juice), so I usually use a light solution to keep sugar (and the added calories) to a minimum.

Sugar Syrup
 
Syrup Sugar Water Yield
Light 2 cups 6 cups 7 cups
Medium 3 cups 6 cups 6 1/2 cups
Heavy 4 cups 6 cups 7 cups
NOTE: you can ALSO use fruit juice (if you want a natural alternative; white grape juice or apple juice are ideal) or water or artificial sweetener (Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda), but NOT Nutrasweet; if you want a low calorie alternative).  Click here for instruction about how to prepare these sugarless, fruit juice, or Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda) solutions!

To prepare syrup, while heating water, add sugar slowly, stirring constantly to dissolve. Bring to a gentle boil. Fill jars while syrup is still boiling hot. After preparing the liquid syrup, keep it hot (but not boiling).

Step 4 - Wash the jars and lids

This is a good time to get the jars ready! The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Otherwise put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. I just put the lids in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" (available from target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) to pull them out.

 

 

 

Step 5 -Wash the quince!

I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the quince in plain cold or lukewarm water

 

Step 6 - Peel and cut up the quince

Peel quince just like you would a potato or an apple. Cut lengthwise in halves and remove the core (it has seeds just like an apple). A melon baller or metal measuring spoon is perfect for coring quince.

Cut out any brown spots and mushy areas. Cut the quince in half, or quarters or slices, as you prefer! Remove pits!

Step 7 - Prevent the fruit from darkening!

Now, to keep the fruit from turning brown, when you get a bowlful, sprinkle 1/4 cup lemon juice or Fruit-Fresh (which is just a mix of citric acid and vitamin C, perfectly natural).  Then stir the quince to make sure all the surfaces have been coated.

Here's a tip from another visitor.  I haven't tried it yet, but it's worth a try, if you are having problems with quince turning pink:

"I just canned them last week and the water bath produced nice white quince, but the pressure canner turned them pink. I had never seen that before, glad to see from your instructions that the quince are ok. Suggestion for keeping quince from turning brown from an old Farm Journal Freezing and Canning cookbook: After peeling, coring, etc. the quince, drop them in a solution of 2 tblsp. each of salt and vinegar to 1 gal. water. Drain before packing jars or putting into syrup for hot pack. Used this method many times and always produced nice quince. Thanks again for the information. " 

Step 8 - For a Hot Pack

Hot packing is recommended for all fruits because it is a bit safer and makes fruit easier to pack in jars. Raw packs also make poor quality quince.  Hot packed quince are less likely to float than quince canned by the raw-pack method. Just put the cut quince into the boiling syrup solution for 5 minutes. (If you want to use the "cold pack" or "raw pack" method, just skip this step!)

 

 

 

Step 9 - Fill the jars

Pack the quince into sanitized jars (leaving 1/2 inch space at the top) and cover with boiling sugar syrup leaving 1/2 inch head space. (If you don't cook or heat the quince first, this is called "cold packing"). Run a rubber spatula or table knife gently between quince and jar to release trapped air bubbles. To do this more effectively, tilt the jar slightly while running the tool between the fruit and the edge of the jar and also pressing inward against the fruit a few times.

After packing the quince in the jar, pour the sugar solution up to 1/2 inch (1 cm) from the top.  the fruit should be covered completely. Wipe rim and screw threads with a clean damp cloth. Add lid, screw band and tighten firmly and evenly. Do not over tighten.

Tips!

Canned fruits often will float if the sugar syrup is too heavy, if jars are packed too loosely or if air remains in the tissues of the fruit after processing. To avoid this use a light or medium sugar syrup, make sure fruit is firm and ripe and pack fruit tightly in jars without crushing.

If fruit is not covered by liquid it may darken during storage (but does not necessarily mean it is spoiled, as all fruits will darken somewhat). To avoid this be sure fruit is covered by removing air bubbles from jars liquid while still leaving the recommended head space. Also be sure to remove trapped air bubbles as described earlier.

Quince, pears and apples may also show a blue, red or pink color change after canning. This is the result of natural chemical changes that sometimes occur as fruits are heated. It is harmless and won't affect flavor!

Also, avoid storing canned food near heat sources such as a furnace, water heater, hot water or sunny areas. Jars need to be kept cool and dark for longer storage life and to protect against spoilage. Be sure to store in a dry place. If the lid or band rusts, that can cause the seal to break.

 

Step 11 - Process the jars in the water bath (or pressure canner)

You can "can" quince in either a water bath or pressure canner.

Water bath canner: Put the sealed jars in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 inch of water and boiling. Boil them for at least 20 minutes (and no more than 30 min).

 

Water Bath Times. Recommended process time for Quince, halved or sliced in a boiling-water canner, using a hot pack in pints or quart jars.
(this is taken from the NCHFP's Pear Jam processing table)

Process Time at Altitudes of
Jar size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
 
pints
20 min 25 30 35
quarts 25 min 30 35 40

Pressure Canning: Processing directions for canning quince in a dial, or a weighted-gauge canner are given in Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3. 

Table 2. Process Times for Quince, halved or sliced in a Dial-Gauge Pressure Canner.
(this is taken from the NCHFP's Pear Jam processing table)

  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Hot Pints or Quarts 10 minutes 6 psi 7 psi 8 psi 9 psi

 

Table 3. Process Times for Halved or sliced Quince in a Weighted-Gauge Pressure Canner.
Using a Hot Pack
(this is taken from the NCHFP's Pear Jam processing table)

  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Jar Size Process Time (Min) 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Pints or Quarts 10 5 10

 

Step 12 - Remove and cool

canned_pearsLift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight), here they won't be bumped. You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.

Canned quince and quince nectar will maintain quality best when stored up to 66 months at 40/F, 40 months at 70/F, or 15 months at 90/F.

If you'd rather dry or freeze quince, let me know; I'm working on those directions. Dried quince can be stored up to 24 months at 40/F, 3 months at 70/F, or 1 month at 90/F. Well packaged frozen quince will keep up to 18 months. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs 
            helpful to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter 
            - to remove lids from the pot 
            of hot water 
  3. Lid 
           - disposable - you may only 
           use them once
  4. Ring 
          - holds the lids on the jar until after
          the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel
          - to fill the jars

 

Frequently asked questions!

 

 

Ball home canning kit water bath canner

Home Canning Kits

Features:

  • Everything you need to get started with waterbath canning (fruits,pickles, jams, jellies, salsa, sauces and tomatoes)
  • 21-1/2 qt. enamel water bath canner
  • Funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, bubble freer spatula
  • Ball Blue Book

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from pears to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. You'll never need anything else except more jars and lids!
Features:

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner and "Ball Blue Book" of canning.
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.


Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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D220-DLXRetail, usually around $89.95

Availability: Usually ships the next business day.
 

Store 1: See this page for more information, reviews, descriptions of other strainers and supplies or to order!

Store 2: Click on the link below:

 

With the Deluxe Food Strainer/Sauce Maker, you can make creamy peach sauce and smooth tomato sauce without having to peel and core! This multi-use strainer forces food through a stainless steel screen, automatically separating the juice and pulp from the seeds, shins, and stems. Perfect for purees, creamed soups, baby foods, pie filling, juices, jams, and more. Save time, effort, and money by preparing your own tasty sauces to be used immediately or boiled for future use. Do bushels with ease and in a fraction of the time. Includes the tomato/peach screen with easy twist on design and instruction/recipe booklet.

The Deluxe model comes with the standard Tomato/peach Screen; as well as the Berry Screen, Pumpkin Screen, and Grape Spiral. Note

 


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[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]

Home Canning Kits

Features:

Ball Enamel Waterbath Canner, Including Chrome-Plated Rack and 4-Piece Utensil Set

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!