Quince jam is a traditional Albanian sweet specialty and very easy to make. And that's a good thing, considering how hard it is to find good quince preserves in the local stores!

Quinces are an old time fruit, related to apples and pears, and like them has a fruit, which is bright golden yellow, when mature.

Most varieties of quince are hard, astringent and sour to eat raw unless ripened on the tree and softened by frost and subsequent decay. But they are used to make jam, jelly and quince pudding, or they may be peeled, then roasted, baked or stewed.

In Albania, quinces are commonly grown in areas where the summers are sufficiently hot for the fruit to fully ripen. They are not grown in large amounts; typically one or two quince trees are grown in a mixed orchard with several apples and other fruit trees.

In old times Europeans considered the quince jam as a specialty for the royal families and aristocrats.

That feat was not only after the taste and looks of the quince jams, but also because it was used to relieve intestinal discomfort and as a remedy for pneumonia and lung disease.

AgroWeb.org invites you to read below how to make quince preserves. To prepare your home-made quince jam, you would need these ingredients.

3 lbs of quinces, to make 6 cups quince juice
4 cups granulated sugar
1 orange zest
1 orange, juice of orange
1 lemon zest
1 lemon, juice of lemon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon clove

To make the quince juice, wash & wipe off fuzz from quinces, cut off stem & anything remaining at blossom end and cut into eighths. Do not discard the cores or the seeds as they contain a lot of natural pectin. Place in a large pan and cover with water so the pieces float. Bring to a boil and stir. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

In a preserving pan, combine the 6 cups quince juice, juice and zest of the orange and the lemon, spices, & sugar.

Bring to a boil and continue cooking on medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, stirring gently. Check the set - it may take up to 40 minutes of simmering over medium high heat for the jelly/jam to reach the set.

Once the set point is reached, put the jam into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace; place flat lids and rings on and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes./AgroWeb.org