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Quince Jelly

5 large (each 10 ounces) quinces
8-1/2 cups sugar (3-1/2 pounds)
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juices (if necessary)

Prepare six 8 ounce jelly jars.

Rub the quinces briskly with a towel to remove any down on the
skin, if there is any. (Don't peel them; the skin is important for
the jelly.) Cut the quinces in half, then using a melon ball maker,
remove the white core and the seeds, and reserve them. Tie the
seeds and the cores together in a piece of cheesecloth.

Place the fruit and the seed bundle in a large heavy stock pot.
Add water to cover by about 1 inch so the quinces are floating
slightly but not wallowing. Cover, bring to a boil over medium high
heat, then reduce the heat so the liquid is simmering.

Cook, partially covered so very little liquid evaporates, until
the quinces can be pierced easily with a metal skewer, 25 to 40
minutes depending on the fruit. While the quinces are cooking,
press on the seed bundle often to extract the pectin. Drain,
reserving the liquid and the seed bundle.

Measure out 6-1/4 cups liquid and return it and the seed bundle to
the pot. Add the sugar, stir, and bring to a boil over medium high
heat. Reduce the heat so the liquid is boiling steadily but not
wildly, and cook, stirring and pressing on the bag of seeds, until
the liquid thickens,anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes. (To test for
consistency, drizzle some jelly on a cold plate, place it in the
refrigerator for 1 to 2 minutes, and then check to see if it has
thickened enough that it won't run all over the plate.

If it is still very runny, continue cooking until it thickens to
your liking.) If the liquid hasn't jelled within 30 minutes, stir
in 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice and cook until it jells, an
additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove the jelly from the heat and strain it, if necessary, so it
is perfectly clear. Ladle the jelly into the sterilized jars and
seal according to manufacturer's instructions.

Makes 6 8 ounce jars.


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