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Kydonopasto (Kythonopasto): Quince Jellies

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Photo of Greek Quince Jellies - Jelly Candy

Quince Jellies

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In Greek: κυδωνόπαστο, say: kee-thoh-NO-pahs-toh

Quince jelly candies are one of the loveliest natural Greek sweets. This is one of the oldest recipes, calling for honey instead of sugar. The recipe calls for few ingredients, and is easy to make, but does require constant attention while boiling.

Quinces contain natural pectin, and turn beautiful shades of orange or red when cooked, making this an attractive as well as delicious sweet treat.

Ingredients:

  • 7 to 9 pounds of quinces (about 15 to 16 quinces)
  • good quallity honey *
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of blanched almond halves
  • ----------
  • FOR STORING
  • baking parchment paper
  • airtight plastic container(s)
  • 3-4 bay leaves

Preparation:

* The amount of honey used will be equal to the weight of the puréed quince pulp. The better the quality of the honey, the better the result. It's important to stir throughout the boiling time so the honey doesn't create any foam.

Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C).

Remove quince stems, and wipe to remove all external debris. In a baking pan, bake the whole quinces at 355°F (180°C) for about 2 hours, until soft (test with a fork). When cool enough to handle, remove and discard peel, seeds, and any other tough fibrous material. Purée the pulp in the blender or food mill and weigh.

Measure out a quantity of honey equal in the weight to the puréed pulp.

Note: 1 pound of honey (16 ounces) = approximately 1 1/3 cups.

In a wide shallow pot (deep metal skillet or other), combine quince pulp, honey, and nutmeg and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously to prevent from creating foam.

If the mixture foams up even with constant stirring, lower heat to a slow boil and continue.

Continue to cook and stir until:

  • volume reduces, and
  • the color darkens to orangey-red, and
  • the jelly pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan.

Just before turning off the heat, stir in the blanched almonds.

Moisten a large metal pan (baking or roasting) with ice water and turn the jelly out into the pan, spreading out evenly, and allow to cool completely.

To store, cut the jelly into candy-sized pieces and transfer to airtight plastic container(s), using baking parchment between layers, and add bay leaves throughout. The jellies will keep, stored this way unrefrigerated, for several months.

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