I tried making quince jelly by boiling the cores and peels. I strained the juice and added the sugar and lemon juice boiled it to jelly state and got

and boiled it to the jelly state and I got quince syrup. What did I do wrong? How can I correct this to make jelly? I was just starting to reboil "syrup" add more sugar and pectin.
should I do this or not? HELP NEEDED

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petitbleu
petitbleu December 16, 2013

I've experienced similar frustrations with jelly-making. Unfortunately, while 220 degrees F is the "jelling point," this doesn't always work. Sometimes, jelling occurs at lower temperatures and sometimes at higher temperatures. This is why I usually go by the chill test. I put a plate in the freezer and then drop a spoonful of the boiling syrup on the plate every once in a while. Put the plate back in the freezer for a minute. If, when you drag your finger through the syrup, it wrinkles and is not liquidy, your jelly is ready to put into jars and process. It's certainly a more subjective test than reaching 220 degrees, but going by temperature is not always the most reliable way to go when making jelly. Hope this helps! Oh, and taste your syrup--if you think it needs more sugar for taste reasons, add more, but otherwise just keep boiling until it passes the chill test.

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Hilarybee
Hilarybee December 17, 2013

Honestly, I think that added pectin would help the jelly set better. Theoretically, there is enough pectin in the quince to make a jelly without it. This has never happened for me. I use Pamona's pectin and the jelling stage is easy and predictable right around 220--sometimes a little before the mixture reaches 220.

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SeaJambon
SeaJambon December 17, 2013

I'm honestly surprised by this question as quince has so much natural pectin that I've never had a problem getting a set with jelly or jam, without adding pectin. That said, I'm happy with a soft set -- not looking for that hard (jiggles a bit but never loses its shape) set. I agree with using the freezer test to confirm jellying (don't just rely on 220). Also, by any chance are you at high altitude? That has an effect (I believe you need a higher temp to achieve a firm set).

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luvcookbooks
luvcookbooks December 18, 2013

I actually made quince syrup accidentally last year. It is delicious over ice cream or cake and if you boil it down a little more you can use it to glaze a fruit tart. I agree with seajambon that this is an unusual problem. Perhaps you used too much water for the amount of fruit? You can also use this jell test: lift up the spoon you are using to stir the jelly. Pour off the liquid in the bowl of the spoon. The last few drops should cling to the rim of the bowl, meet at the tip of the spoon, and hang for a few seconds. I never use added pectin for any jell because it makes it too stiff and because I am a Luddite. In this case, if you really want a jelly, you could.... also adding lemon usually helps with jell as well.

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Joan Rhodes
Joan Rhodes December 19, 2013

Thanks to everyone for your reponces. Well Idid use the freezer methgd. Ib did add pectin and more sugar. So now I have a very sweet thick syrup instead of jelly. I think I just wasn't sure what bthe consistancy was suppose to look like after it went onto to frozen plate. Having never done this before I wasn't sure what I was doing and what I was suppose to look for when puting on the frozen plate. I thought maybe I over boiled it, and the pectin lost all it's strength. Well there is always next year.

Merry Chriustmas to all.
Joan

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Diana B
Diana B December 19, 2013

Joan, it might be worth investing in a good instant read thermometer, like a Thermapen. They are pricey, but come in handy in the kitchen in a lot of ways. Their advantage, in jam and jelly making, is that all you have to do is keep testing the temperature while you're making your jam and when it hits 220°F, which is the set point, you're done. You can buy a candy thermometer, too, and they're cheaper, but I've found they are often not properly calibrated, so you can't trust them.

The freezer testing methods works well, too, but you have to get your test sample cold, which takes a few minutes. Meanwhile, your jam continues to cook, so if it turns out your sample is set, you've slightly overcooked your jam.

Thermapen: just do it. They sometimes slightly reduce the per-item price when you buy two, so maybe you could go together on it with a friend (right now they're asking $85 each for two or more, for example: http://www.thermoworks.com/products/thermapen/). Or there's always Santa...

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luvcookbooks
luvcookbooks December 20, 2013

take the mixture off the stove for a few minutes while you test the set in the freezer and save $85 and some space (if you're me) in a tiny kitchen

Greenstuff
Greenstuff December 19, 2013

We spend time in an area of France that has an annual quince celebration. Quince syrup is one of their specialties. Pour a little into a glass, swirl to coat, then pour out. Add sparkling wine. A kir coing, nothing better.

But back to your question--I'm not an added pectin fan, because using pectin always means using more sugar. Plus, there should be plenty of natural pectin in your quince cores and peels. I'd try again without the pectin, and if it doesn't work, go for a kir coing.

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luvcookbooks
luvcookbooks December 20, 2013

Chris, I'm obsessed with quince, can u tell me where? And I will be serving kir coing at out Xmas dinner, along with Emily C's sparkling wine wit cranberry syrup. Thanks!!!

Greenstuff
Greenstuff December 20, 2013

Meg, I sent you a message with some specifics. Cheers!

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