Quince Preserves

Quince, how do I love thee. That’s right. I have a soft spot in my heart for this exotic fruit  (for pomegranates too, remember?). I like to eat it as is, skin and all, and I also like it in the form of preserves. Quince in Azerbaijan is especially delicious and the land of my ancestors, the region of Ordubad, produces the juiciest quince of all, as juicy as apples, and I am not exaggerating.

Quince that I find in California markets is not as juicy, but still makes for perfect preserves. This is the recipe for traditional Azerbaijani quince preserves that is usually enjoyed with freshly brewed black tea. A spoonful of quince preserves, a sip of hot tea—that’s how it goes for an Azerbaijani.

Quince Preserves (Heyva Murebbesi)

Makes 2 pints (1 liter)


2 pounds (1 kg) cored and cut quince (see the recipe) (about 4-5 large quinces)
2 pounds (1 kg) granulated sugar
1 cup water
Pinch of citric acid (optional)


If the quince has fuzz, rub the fruit to remove the fuzz from its surface. Quarter and remove the core (do not peel). Using  a crinkle cutter (see picture below), cut each quarter crosswise into slices, about 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thick. If you don’t have a crinkle cutter, use a regular knife.  Weigh the quince and make sure it is in the 1-to-1 ratio with the sugar.

Put the quince in a wide heavy based saucepan, preferably not very deep. Evenly distribute the sugar over the quince and pour in the water. Simmer over medium heat, uncovered, stirring with a wooden spoon  from time to time, until the quince is golden (like in the first picture) and the syrup has somewhat thickened, 50 minutes to 1 hour. If using, toss in the citric acid 5 minutes before removing the preserves from the heat. Allow to cool.

Spoon the cooled preserves into a jar and seal it tightly. Keep in a cool, dry place. To serve, spoon the quince with the syrup into a round preserves bowl.


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  1. You know what we call not-so-juicy quinces in Turkey? Ay? bo?an–bear choker 🙂
    Loved the cutter and I, too, love quince very much. I have to look for it at the market this weekend.

  2. qince is one of my favourite fruites! though i prefer to eat it raw!
    i think this preserve tastes like carrot’s, doesn’t it?!

  3. Oh, lovely! Quinces are so delicious.



  4. Besides jams/preserves and compotes, we use Quince leaves, skin and its pits to make tea in Turkey. It’s good for soar throat and dry cough. We have a quince tree in our backyard in Turkey and nothing goes to waist. My mom dries the fruit to make compote and she also dries the pits and the leaves for tea . A solution for a dry quince is to bash it to death!

  5. BURCU: I like the bear choker thing:) Great way to describe it:)

    TARLAN: It doesn’t taste like carrots, at least to me. It has a very pleasant flavor, different from any other preserve.

    ROSA: Thank you:)

  6. Sorry Fari, but you couldn’t possibly love quinces more than me.

    Although, I haven’t yet tried preserving them, I put them in just about everything, over ice cream, in Dutch Babies.
    Maybe it’d be a good idea to try preserving them this fall, so I can enjoy them year ’round. So glad I thought of it 😉

    Lovely, as always dear!

  7. Oh my! I was looking for a simple quince jam recipe, and here you just posted it! Thanks a lot! I have some fresh quince and I didn’t want them to go bad.
    I have a question though: What if I don’t use citric acid? Would it make a big difference? Thanks Farida :)))

  8. NAILE: Thanks for mentioning this:) It also applies to Azerbaijan:) We don’t like to waste anything.

    MARI: Nice to have you back here, amiga:)

    MAG: Nice to see you too:) CItric acid is optional. It acts as a natural preservative keeping a preserve good for a long time.

  9. Mmm… delicious. looks like my mom’s preserve. Gonna eat some today :))

  10. It looks so bright! I love quince too and I love to use it in some dishes or salads. the cutter you used looks so cute.

  11. Salam Farida I love Ayva also. Benim komsum gecen ay bana 1 cuval ayva getirdi from her farm. (just want to see if you can read turkish:))I made jam for everyone and my twins and I just devoured those ayvas as it is.. Recelin cok istah acici..

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  13. mmm…. Looks good. Where can i buy them?

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