It has been a long time since I canned anything. Kids grow, lives change, and so do routines.
Last weekend, at a garden luncheon, I was given a plastic grocery bag containing six fruits from the Chinese Quince tree, and a slip of paper with instructions on how to make jelly out of them.
The recipe resulted in twelve jewel-like jars of jelly, and a house that smelled like it used to 'back in the day'.
There are a lot of conflicting recipes for Quince Jelly on the 'Web, and Quince isn't mentioned on the insert of the Sure Jell package, so I am reproducing the instructions I was given ... to have them here for others who may want to follow in my footsteps.
Preparing the Fruit.
1. Wash but do not peel 5 - 7 fruits.
2. Cut in half lengthwise with stout knife, remove seeds with spoon.
3. Cut in thin slices or small chunks.
4. Put into a large pot and add water till you can see it through the chunks.
5. Cover and bring to boil, then simmer till all is tender, stirring gently occasionally so all pieces are cooked. (At this stage, I mashed the fruit with my potato masher and simmered it for a little while longer.)
6. Strain through jelly bag or cheesecloth, letting it drip till the dripping stops. Squeeze bag to get more juice at the end.
7. You will end up with 6-9 cups of cloudy liquid. Allow this to stand in refrigerator for a couple days and the solids will settle to the bottom of the container.
7 cups of prepared Quince Juice
1 package of Sure-Jell fruit pectin
9 cups of Sugar
Boil juice and pectin in a large pot, stirring occasionally. When fruit comes to full rolling boil, add sugar all at once, and heat till the mixture returns to full rolling boil. Continue to boil mixture for exactly one minute, then remove pot from heat. Skim foam from the top of the pot with a metal spoon. Ladle jelly into prepared jars, and process in water bath for 5 minutes.
This jelly was DELICIOUS earlier this morning on a buttered whole wheat English muffin!
I have a couple of cups of quince juice left over, and it may be great mixed with raspberries to make Raspberry Quince Jam. I think I feel my old cooking/canning self coming back.