Marmalatha Kythoni: Quince Jam

Quince jam in jar with fruit, close up
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Ratings (40)
  • Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Yield: 3-4 cups (Serves 24)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
131 Calories
0g Fat
34g Carbs
0g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Greek: μαρμαλάδα κυδώνι, pronounced mahr-mah-LAH-thah kee-THOH-nee

Mediterranean countries have been growing and using quince for over 4,000 years, not only utilizing the flowers and fruit for everything from perfume to honey but also giving quince as a symbol of committed love. In Greece, a traditional recipe including quince is this sweet jam called Marmalatha Kythoni.

The flesh of the quince is dry and hard and has a very tart flavor, and the fruit has a high pectin content, making it ideal for cooking down into a jam or jelly. Quince is a member of the rose family, as are apples and pears, and looks and tastes like a cross between these two fruits (although, to me, a quince tastes the way I think roses would taste).

This jam is all natural--no additives or preservatives--just simply quinces, sugar and a little lemon juice, creating a light jam, perfect for toast, as a filling for croissants and as a condiment. Make sure not to throw out the liquid from the first boil since you can use it to make quince jelly. 

In Greece, we cook lamb and pork with quince, so the taste of this jam goes well as a condiment with lamb and pork roasts.


  • 4 1/2 pounds quince

  • 1 1/4 cup water, divided
  • 1 3/4 pounds sugar (just under 4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Clean the quince the way you would an apple, peeling and removing the seeds. Cut into small chunks and put into a bowl of water as you are cleaning and cutting remaining quince. Quince will turn dark if not covered with water.

  2. Drain and transfer to a pot with water just to the top of the quince. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 30 minutes, turn off heat, and leave the pot on the stove for 30 minutes.

  3. Drain off liquid into another pot to make quince jelly or discard.

  4. Place fruit in the food processor bowl with the 1/4 cup of water and pulse for 8 seconds. The consistency should be similar to chunky applesauce.

  5. Transfer to a large saucepan, add sugar and the 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking and browning. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the jam melds, excess liquid cooks off, and the jam drops from a spoon in chunks.

  6. Add lemon juice, stir for 5 minutes, and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, then transfer to jars with airtight lids, but do not seal until the jam has cooled completely. The jam can be stored for up to a year and the color of the jam will darken over time to varying shades of red.


  • If the jam starts sticking to the pan and browning, remove from heat immediately and pour into a bowl. Use a spoon to remove brown parts, transfer to a clean pot and continue to cook.

  • To change quantities: 2 parts peeled and seeded quince to 1 part sugar, by weight.