Recently a reader left a comment on my blog asking for the quince jam recipe and that's when I decided to make this gorgeous colored, delicious and fragrant jam while quinces are still available in the market. Quince jam was part of the typical Persian sobhaneh (breakfast) back home in Iran and it included freshly baked warm bread (barbari, taftoon or sangak) right out of the tanoor, fresh brewed hot cup of chai (tea), sarshir (breakfast cream), panir (my fave, lighvan), butter and honey. Among many different kinds of jams, quince jam added color, flavor and aroma to our busy breakfast table. I suggest making a large batch since this is the kind of jam that you just want to eat right out of the jar. I wish I could say how long quince jam would last when refrigerated but past a 2-3 month time period I wouldn't know. It never lasts beyond that time in our fridge. It's truly amazing to see the transformation of this light yellowish colored, tart, firm and woody fruit into a sweet fruit jam that is a rich stunning shade of red, and soft enough to melt in your mouth.
This time of year, when quince is in season, it is the best time to make the hearty one-pot meal known as tas kabab with layers of sliced quinces or the fall recipe khoresh-e beh (quince stew). Quince has a thin skin and there's usually no need to remove it, just rinse it well and with a sharp knife gently remove the core but don't throw away the seeds which are used for medicinal purposes. As I have mentioned before in one of my previous posts, a teaspoon of quince seeds mixed with a cup of hot water can help soothe a minor soar throat and chest pains. Nothing of this fruit goes to waste.
Moraba-ye Beh - Persian Quince Jam
Makes about 4 pint jars
7 medium sized quince, rinse well under water and pat dry, remove any brown spots and core, slice or cut into bite-size pieces
3 cups sugar (can be adjusted to your liking)
3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or use 2-3 whole cardamom pods (I used green cardamom)
1 tablespoon rose water *optional
Water, 4 cups
- Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice over the quince slices.
- In a large heavy-bottom saucepan combine the sugar and water, bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, uncovered. Reduce the heat and boil for another ten minutes on medium-low heat or until it thickens a little bit.
- Add the ground cardamom and quince slices to the sugar syrup, bring back to a boil on medium heat. Pour in the rest of the lemon juice and add a little more water if needed.
- Cover and simmer for about 2 hours on low heat. It is recommended not to remove the lid during the cooking to ensure that quince slices develop the desired rich ruby red color. You can wrap the lid in a clean kitchen towel. I didn't wrap the lid with any cloth and a few times I gently stirred the content.
- Add a tablespoon of rose water and simmer for another few minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Ladle the jam into sterilized jars. Cover tightly and refrigerate.