Quince Jam

So it’s quince season over here. A fleeting time when I never make enough of my quince relish to last until the next season which this year I have sought to rectify.

But after peeling and coring and chopping finely about four kilos of quinces I was calling it quits. I figured 11 jars would be enough so long as I wasn’t overly generous with handing out jars of this precious condiment. (It’s sublime with cheese – far nicer than quince paste – and delicious with lamb or any meat for that matter.)

Then Chef asked me if I had a quince jam recipe. I found one in my Country Show Cookbook and figured that not having to peel or core the quinces until they were partially cooked I would give it a go.

Now, not being a big fan of quinces in a sweetened dessert form I was not holding much hope for me enjoying it but MAN OH MAN it is freakin’ delicious. Smear it on some buttered toast and I defy anyone to not eat the lot. I did also use a jar of it on some lamb shoulders I slow roasted for about 7 hours yesterday and again, superb.

Quince Jam
The Country Show Cookbook

  • Quinces
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  1. Place the quinces in a saucepan in which they all fit and cover with water
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer until the quinces are quite soft
  3. Keep the water, remove the quinces and peel and core them (granted this is fiddly because there are those weird grainy bits around the core and you have to get it all out but hey, it’s a hell of a lot easier when they’re soft than raw)
  4. Put all the cores and skin (some of the skin just pulls away as a very thin film, some of it is harder, just deal with accordingly) back in the water, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, chop up the quinces
  6. Strain all the cores and stuff from the water and then combine the water and chopped up quinces
  7. Measure the cups of quinces into a pan then add the same number of cups of sugar
  8. Slowly bring to the boil (ensuring the sugar is dissolved before you get to boiling point)
  9. Boil until it reaches setting point
  10. The lemon juice is optional – add about five minutes before end of cooking time
  11. Pour into sterilised jars and savour throughout the long non-quince season.

Jammy Shortbread biscuits

So the first time I made these, which granted has been the only time but I’m so making them again because oh my they are good, the recipe is all wrong. Well, by ‘all wrong’ I mean not enough. But then maybe it was just me, however it’s the second recipe I’ve made from Apples for Jam and I’ve found both recipes need a bit of tweaking in terms of process or quantity rather than the outcome, which has always been delicious.

Anyway, I saw this prior to Christmas and it stayed in the forefront of my cooking (and eating) desires right through that festive season.

As you can see from the picture below, there was simply not enough shortbread dough to cover the entire tray – so in the recipe below I’ve doubled the original as this should do it.

In the original recipe Tessa Kiros says any jam can be used but a fig jam is particularly special. I happened to have a jar of Fig and Ginger Jam in the fridge (a gift to mum that she regifted to me) and indeed, it was special. But somehow I think it needs a red jam, just to look pretty against the buttery shortbread goodness that encases it.

Jam Shortbread
Adapted from Apples for Jam

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • a few drops vanilla
  • about 200g of your favourite jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 30x40cm baking tray so there is a decent overhang (you’ll need this once it’s cooked to lift it out)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar by hand
  3. Add the flour and baking powder
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and knead them until it is all compact and smooth
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour or until the dough is firm enough to roll out
  6. Divide the dough in half and roll each half to about 2-3mm thickness on a lightly floured surface (I do this between two sheets of greaseproof paper because I can never get any form of pastry or dough off the surface in one neat piece otherwise. I then simply lift the piece up on the paper and invert it over the dish or tray it’s going into.)
  7. Spread over the jam then roll out the other half of the dough and place over the top
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the shortbread is turning golden
  9. Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes, then lift out using the baking paper as a lever
  10. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter or simple squares or diamonds, or indeed, just cut chunks off as you walk by.

It makes about 12-15 pieces and it will (apparently) keep for five to six days


even it’s name is enticing no?
I have always wondered what a jam roly poly was and in my impressive laziness resulting in a lack of research had simply presumed it was a rectangular sponge covered with jam and then rolled up.
How wrong I was.
Just as this curiosity was sitting there, along with my curiosity about a whole lotta things, out comes the latest Gourmet Traveller and the weekly edition of Good Living, both featuring a jam roly poly.
Get this.
It’s more of a scone wrapped around jam than a sponge.
I know. Move over Wikepedia.

that is the pic of the Jam Roly Poly in the latest GT – I mean, if that doesn’t make y0u want to make it, what will I say.
And yes, I even made the jam. I’m not a huge marmalade fan, but this – which I slightly modified – was very moreish indeed.
Also – mine looked nothing like this – my jam was not as dark and syrupy (similar to my insecurities about my kneading ability, I have similar angst about making jam. that said, this one set without me using Jamsetta and is delicious, it just wasn’t thick and syrupy enough to hold that much shape in the roll).

The jam

  • 4 oranges (I used 3 oranges, 1 tangelo)
  • 2 lemons
  • 6 mandarins
  • 220g white sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon or orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
  1. – Peel and segment the oranges, lemons and two of the mandarins. Do this over a bowl to catch juices.
  2. – Remove pips and set aside.
  3. – Using your hands, push down on the segments to release juices into a measuring cup.
  4. – Squeeze the remaining four mandarins and add to to the juice from the segments – you need 1 cup of juice.
  5. – Tie the seeds up in a muslin cloth
  6. – Combine the juices and sugar in a heavy based saucepan, bring to a simmer to dissolve sugar
  7. – Add the fruit, pips and liqueur and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until syrupy. Cool completely before use

The cake*

  • 2 1/3 cups SR flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 120g butter, chopped
  • Finely grated rind of 2 oranges and 1 lemon (Use the rind off some of the fruit used in the jam. Grate the rinds before peeling and segmenting fruit.)
  • 175ml buttermilk
  1. – Preheat oven to 180C
  2. – Combine the flour, sugar and rinds
  3. – Rub through the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs
  4. – Cut through the buttermilk (treat it like a scone batter, so work lightly and quickly)
  5. – Turn onto a lightly floured piece of grease-proof paper and form into a 25cm log
  6. – Roll out to a rectangle that’s 27cmx30cm
  7. – Spread over 2/3 of the jam, leaving a 3cm border
  8. – Roll lengthways, pressing the edges together as you go
  9. – Brush surface with some buttermilk
  10. – Now, the recipe says to wrap the roll in the grease-proof paper and tie the ends. I’m not sure why you do this, maybe to keep it in a tight roll as otherwise it might just spread outways… or something?
  11. – Place on a baking tray and cook for 35 minutes.

Serve warm with cream or ice-cream (or both) and some of the leftover jam if desired.

The recipe in Good Living used a jar of apricot jam, which may be what I do next time. I’ll keep the rinds in the batter though as it gave lovely flavour.

*This is basically like a scone dough. In fact, with the rinds adding an extra depth of flavour I may use this recipe for my next batch of scones.

Oscar’s Donna Hay jammy thumbprint cookies

Oscar came home from school last week so excited. On his library day, he got two books – one on knights, the other a Donna Hay cookbook for kids titled “Cool Kids Cook“. And indeed they do.

Donna Hay Thumbprint Cookies

(but now referred to in our house as Oscar’s jammy thumbprints)

  • 180g butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup SR flour
  • 1 1/4 cup plain flour
  • raspberry and apricot jams (or whatever you prefer)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C, grease a biscuit tray
  2. Cream the butter and sugar
  3. Add the egg
  4. Fold through the flour
  5. Roll dessert spoons of dough into a ball and flatten slightly
  6. Place on the tray then press your thumb into the middle to make a hole
  7. Spoon in a tsp of jam into each thumbprint. The boys seemed to like the Apricot ones better, go figure.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the biccies are golden. (In our oven it was more like 15-17 minutes)
  9. Makes around 18.

I like the idea of making grown up versions of this with wholewheat flour and jams like a fig jam or something similar.

They’re quite large biscuits – big discs – and really really good.
I’d post a photo if I could be bothered. But, you know …