October 29, 2009



Paradise jelly, a delicate combination of apples, quinces and cranberries, is truly my favorite jelly. A beautiful pink color it seems an old fashioned jelly, the kind you serve with a silver spoon at teatime.

My grandmother often made it and I consider her jelly the gold standard. She used Crab apples, which are abundant in New England. Here in California, Crab apples are scarce and expensive so I use Granny Smith or Lady apples but any firm tart apple will do.

Hard and sour, quinces are unpleasant to eat raw so demand for them is not great. Look for them at your local farmers' market or ask your grocer to stock them. When cooked the fruit is transformed; it turns a beautiful pink color and has a subtly perfumed flavor with hints of vanilla, pear and something almost tropical.

I have heard it said that Eve, in the Garden of Eden bit into a quince not an apple. Perhaps that is where this ambrosial jelly got its name. I only hope my version is as good as my grandmother's which to me truly was paradise.

Because of the high in pectin content of all three fruits, this jelly sets up beautifully making it another great jelly for beginners.


YEILD: about 8 cups

  • 6 lbs quince
  • 3 lbs apples
  • 8 cups cranberries
  • 12 cups water or to cover
  • 3/4 cups sugar per cup of juice stock

  1. Wash the fuzz from the quinces. Remove the blossom end from the apples and quinces (I use a melon baller) and and cut them into chunks. Do not peel or core. Sort and wash the cranberries.
  2. Place the apples, quinces and cranberries in a large preserving pan with cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for about an hour  or until the quinces are soft.
  3. Cool slightly and pour into a moistened jelly bag or muslin set in a colander. Let drip without squeezing for 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Measure the strained juice stock into a clean preserving pan. Heat juice stock and for every cup of juice stock  add 3/4 cup of sugar. Increase the heat and boil for 10- 15 minutes, or until jelly is set, skimming as needed. 
  5. Remove from heat and skim if needed. Ladle into hot sterilized jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Label and enjoy.
  1. Don't be concerned that the quince take longer to cook that the apple or cranberries.
  2. You can tinker with apple quince ratio just keep the same weight of fruit.
  3. This is my favorite jelly on toasted white bread with a cup of tea! 
  4. Use it as a glaze on apple or pear tarts. 
  5. Quinces and apples are very high in pectin and set up very fast so make sure you are ready to can, with your work station organized your jars and lids etc ready.


  1. this jelly looks lovely! i read this before i went to sleep last night and then had a dream i was at the farmers market and a farmer was selling quinces the size of my head!

    go figure... :)

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  3. Tigress
    I am sure there's a joke in there somewhere, but I can't think of it.
    The jelly is really pretty(and yummy).The degree of pinkness depends on whether you use crab apples which cook up pink, and on the variety of quince you use.Some varieties of quince cook up pinker than others. I have yet to figure out which.

  4. hey nina,

    i still haven't figured out what that dream meant except that i need to get myself some quince and make that lovely jam up there!

    i tried to find a contact email here but couldn't. i just posted a canning blog challenge and would love for you to participate! have a look at the details on my new blog post at tigressinajam. :)

  5. These look gorgeous! I have been pining for quince fruit and can't find it anywhere. My local market said it would be coming soon...fingers crossed.

  6. We had thought this recipe died with our mom....SO Glad to find it! Thanks

  7. very beautiful flowers!

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