Recipe Source: Shaida, Margaret. The Legendary Cuisine of Persia. Interlink Books, New York, 2002 p. 229
I couldn't believe how hard it was to find quinces! In my head, they're a fall staple, although they weren't something that we ate when I was a kid. I've got a ton of recipes that call for quince - Greek pastries, Persian stews, and jams. I really didn't expect to have a problem when I decided to make some quince preserves as part of my Christmas project, but when I went to the store to find them there wasn't even a space for them. I went to four different supermarkets on the South Shore in search of them, to no avail. I finally had to drive up to Wilson Farms in Lexington to find them, and once I was there I bought as many as I could get into my basket. After all, they keep for a good long time and getting anywhere north of Boston from anywhere south of Boston is a major hassle. I didn't want to have to do it again.
At any rate, this was the first of the quince jams I made. I was strongly encouraged to make the jam in a copper pot, for the color. It sounded like a great plan, but there was one problem: I don't have a proper copper pot. I was tempted to run out and buy one, but the thought of spending that kind of money right now just for the color of one dish seemed ridiculous even to me. I'm pretty pleased with the color as it is, anyway. The flavor is mild but distinctive, with a very delicate cardamom scent. I didn't make any other changes, besides doubling the recipe.
Morabba-ye Beh (makes 7 8-oz jars of jam; approx. cost per serving not available)
8 large quinces
8 cups sugar
2 quarts water
8 whole cardamoms
- Large saucepan
- Stock pot
- Boiling water canner with rack and tongs
- 7 8-oz mason jars, with lids and bands
- Halve and seed the quinces, then slice very, very thinly. Don't bother peeling them.
- Combine the sugar, water and quinces in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the quinces are tender and transparent. This should take about an hour and a half at least.
- Bring back up to the boil, uncover, and cook until the gelling point is reached.
- Meanwhile, put the jars, bands and lids in the stock pot. Fill with water and heat that water to 180 degrees.
- Fill the boiling water canner with water and heat that water to 180 degrees. An instant-read thermometer would be very useful here.
- When the jam is ready and the jars are properly heated, use the ladle to fill each jar with about 1/2" head room.
- Cap the jars with the lids and tighten the bands to fingertip-tightness.
- Lower into the boiling water canner. Bring the canner to a rolling boil, then cover and process 30 minutes.