Ouma Leentjie’s quince preserve

August 14, 2013 (Last Updated: January 11, 2019)


“I grew up on an apple farm in Elgin where we had three quince trees in our garden. My mother used to make these for the pantry and they’ve always been my favourite. I try to preserve quinces in season so as to have an abundance available for winter entertaining” – Chrislene Retief

Ouma Leentjie's quince preserve


  • 8 quinces (Make sure you start by selecting top-quality fruit from your own garden or local grocer!)
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) salt water
  • 1L (4 cups) water
  • 300g (1½ cups) cane sugar



Peel the fruit and cut into 8 wedges.  Remove the core. Place into salted water while you work.


Use a large heavy-based pan and cover the bottom with quince quarters tightly packed together. Add water and cane sugar. Simmer slowly until you achieve the desired colour. Do not stir.

To reach the right colour you need patience and time. It can take up to an hour, depending on the ripeness of the fruit: the riper the fruit, the longer it takes.


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