Quince and Pomegranate Jam with cinnamon, star anise and cardamom.
This recipe was a bit of an experiment for me, having never cooked with quince, or made jam in the past. However, the results are worth the effort, and clearly if I can make it so can you. The quince is infused with bright ruby red of pomegranate. I added some warm sweet spices: Cinnamon, Star Anise and Cardamom. As the jam simmers, the kitchen is filled with a floral, woody, sweet scent of its seasonal ingredients. It would make an unusual home made Christmas gift, and certainly one that could be a good alternative filling for mince pies to those who are averse to traditional mincemeat. The quince is essentially slowly poached in pomegranate juice, the natural pectin in quince helping the jam to set.
I used guidance on jam making from Delia, available here, and took influence from recipes for Persian Quince Jam, including this one, where I got an idea of adding some further depth with cardamom and other spices. I substituted pomegranate juice for water. I made juice from fresh pomegranate but ready squeezed juice is also fine to use here.
I used some empty teabags to hold the spices in, though you could also fashion a muslin bag.
Ingredients (makes 2 medium sized jars):
2 medium sized quinces
300ml pomegranate juice
3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
2 whole cardamom, 1 star anise and 2 cardamom pods
Grind the spices using a spice mill or using a pestle and mortar, then place them in an empty teabag or muslin bag.
Peel the quince and cut into small pieces or grate (depending on your preference for the consistency of the jam).
Sprinkle with lemon juice.
In a saucepan heat the pomegranate juice with some sugar. Heat until it is boiling and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the quince and the spices and cover the saucepan.
Place a plate in the freezer so you can later test the consistency of the jam.
Simmer the jam on low heat for one and a half to two hours.
Test the consistency from around 75 minutes to check if the jam is close to setting by placing a spoonful of jam onto the cooled plate and seeing if it sets.
Pour the jam into sterilised containers.
This jam is delicious served simply with bread and jam, but serves equally well alongside a cheeseboard.
I am linking it to this months One Ingredient challenge (Pomegranate) which is hosted by myself and Laura on alternate months