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A Taste of History

A Medieval Marmalade

John Powell’s fascinating presentation on traditional Herefordshire apples at May’s Spring Greens Fair, included the following delightful recipe, based on some Elizabethan favourites which were the forerunners of modern orange marmalade.

Quince and Pippin Jelly

0.5kg grated Pippin apples

Zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon

Simmer in a large pan for 15 minutes

Grated flesh of 1kg quinces

Add and cook gently for 15 minutes

1kg unrefined sugar

Quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon

Eighth teaspoon ground mace

Add and bring to the boil, stirring

Simmer for another 15 minutes

Bottle into clean, hot jars


Tip: If the quince is very slow-roasted before use (eg. In the bottom of a range), it will give the deepest colour. Jelly can be strained, but is good with strips of fruit in.

John says Cox is probably the best apple to use, and Vranya the best quince.

John’s daughter, Madeleine, helped develop the recipe from some original sources – Pippin Jelly and Quince Marmalade.  Sources included ‘The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby’ which can be viewed here:



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