Quince is a seasonal fruit, and I know many of you would like to eat it every day, but how can you do it when it is not the season? Easy, the answer is what I’m going to teach you: how to store quinces properly.
It is possible to store green quinces at room temperature until it ripes for about 5 days. Then, you should preserve them in the fridge for 3 or 4 weeks or frozen for 10 to 12 months when ripe. You can also make quinces in syrup or quince paste for long-term storage.
Now you have the global answer. If you want to know how to apply that step by step, keep reading.
Table of Contents
- Store quinces at room temperature
- How to keep quinces in the fridge?
- How to freeze quinces
- Store quinces in syrup
- Keep quince compote
- How to prepare quince paste
- How to dehydrate quince
- How to know if the quince is damaged?
- Why do quinces spoil?
- How long does quince last?
- What is the best way to preserve quince?
Store quinces at room temperature
Quince is a fruit that continues to ripen even after being cut from the tree due to heat. For this reason, the ideal would be to store it in the fridge. However, when quinces are green, they can be stored at room temperature to ripen.
You can put them inside a plastic bag or in a basket covered with a clean tea towel for about five days, where the sunlight does not hit directly.
If the quinces are ripe, they can only be for two days at room temperature. It would help if you keep in mind that quinces are very delicate fruits, and having some weight on top of them will bruise them; therefore, try not to put them on top of each other when you keep them.
How to keep quinces in the fridge?
The ideal scenario is to store the quinces in the fridge to keep them juicy and fresh, thus preserving their flavor and texture.
You have to follow these steps to correctly store the quinces in the fridge.
- Step 1: Clean and dry.
Those you take directly from the tree or even the ones from the supermarket are not completely clean, that’s why the first step is to clean them. You can wash them with plenty of water and dry them with paper towels or a kitchen cloth.
Then, you leave it for a while at room temperature to finish drying completely.
- Step 2: Pack each quince separately.
Although it may be enough to put them inside the vegetable drawer, wrap each quince with plastic film or aluminum foil if you want them to last longer.
You can also group some inside a plastic bag, but the important thing is not to stack them or place other fruits on them since they bruise easily.
- Step 3: Label.
Write on the bag with the storage date, or stick a label on the vegetable drawer.
- Step 4: Store quinces in the fridge.
The ideal temperature that the refrigerator should have for the quinces to last long is from 3° to 5° Celsius.
Storing quinces in the fridge will extend their shelf life to about 3 to 4 weeks, although if you can lower the temperature of your refrigerator to 0°C, they could last from 2 to 6 months. 
How to freeze quinces
Can quinces be frozen? Absolutely and also, the quinces can freeze without losing their taste. They even become more tender, which is pleasant for the palate of many people.
The process of storing them in the freezer is as follows:
- Step 1: Clean the quinces.
Remove dirt from the quinces with plenty of water.
- Step 2: Peel and cut.
To preserve them better, I advise you to peel them, chop them in halves, and then cut them into thin slices. Finally, get rid of the seeds.
- Step 3: Pre-freeze the quince.
Place waxed paper or a nonstick sheet on a tray, spread the quince slices, and freeze for about 4 hours.
- Step 4: Package.
After that, place the frozen quince slices inside an airtight container suitable for the freezer. The most common container used is a ziplock bag.
- Step 5: Label.
You should always place the storage date on the products you want to control them better.
- Step 6: Store quinces in the freezer.
Finally, you proceed to store the quince in the freezer. This method may freeze the quince for about 10 or 12 months.
How to freeze cooked quince?
Another thing you can do before freezing the quince is to cook it, and in this way, it will last you longer for it:
- Step 1: Wash and chop the quince.
Wash and peel the fruit. Then you chop it into four parts and take out the seeds.
- Step 2: Cook the quince.
If you do not have a steamer, you can boil water in a pot, and place a strainer on top, so the steam produced by the boiling water cooks the quinces. As soon it is boiling, cook the quince for about 15 or 20 minutes.
- Step 3: Cool and pack.
Let the quinces cool completely before putting them in an airtight container or bag.
- Step 4: Tag.
On the container or bag, write the date of storage of the quince.
- Step 5: Store the cooked quince in the freezer.
In this way, the cooked quince can remain frozen for at least one year.
Store quinces in syrup
The syrup is a clever idea if you want to store the quinces adding a different flavor. However, the process is a bit longer.
Having the ingredients ready, you proceed in this way:
- Step 1: Sterilize the bottles.
It would be best if you use glass jars with airtight lids and you have to sterilize them. Please put them in a pot with water and boil them for 10 to 15 minutes. Afterward, take them out with tweezers and put them on a rack to drain and finish drying.
- Step 2: Wash and peel
Wash with plenty of water, then remove all the skin from the quince. Some people prefer to leave the skin, but that will depend on the tastes of each one.
- Step 3: Chop the quince.
Cut the quince into medium or small pieces, as you prefer. In addition, you must remove all the seeds.
- Step 4: Boil water in a pot.
In a large pot, pour 33oz (1 L) of water and bring it to the fire until it boils.
- Step 5: Add the quince.
Once the water is boiling, it’s time for you to add the chopped quince next to the cinnamon sticks and sugar.
Simmer until the quinces soften. The estimated cooking time is about 1 hour. But you must prevent it from softening too much to the point where it is like a jam.
- Step 6: Cool.
Once it reaches the desired point, please remove it from the heat and cool.
- Step 7: Package.
Once the quince is cold, pour it into the glass jar, leaving one finger gap.
- Step 8: Vacuum seal.
If you want your quince to last long, you need a vacuum seal, and to do it, you can use a large pot with a lid; at the bottom, you can put a rack or a clean kitchen cloth to protect the jars.
You arrange the jars in the pot and add water to cover them. When it begins to boil, you leave it between 20-30 minutes. After this time, you turn it off and wait for the water to cool down to get the jars out. And you leave it for about 12 hours on a table, away from the sun, so that it cools completely.
- Step 9: Store the jars with quince in syrup in the fridge.
You can preserve the quince in syrup for between 1 and 2 years in the fridge.
If you skipped the vacuum seal step, it would last about six months if the container is unopened inside the fridge but only one week outside it.
Keep quince compote
Although this method does not extend the quince too long, it could be helpful when you have many quinces and want to do something different.
You will only need four quinces, 1 cup of sugar, water, a lemon, a cinnamon stick, and a star anise.
- Step 1: Peel and chop the quince.
Remove all the skin from the quinces, I can bite it in squares the size of your preference, but they are not very large. And remove the seeds.
- Step 2: Put the chopped quince into the water with lemon.
In a bowl, place the pieces of quinces and cover them with water, then squeeze the juice of a lemon to prevent them from oxidizing quickly. Leave it for about 5 minutes and drain.
- Step 3: Cook.
Place the chopped quince inside a pot, add two glasses of water and sugar, and the cinnamon sprig and anise. Cook over low heat for 35 minutes until the quince softens. Remember to stir constantly.
- Step 4: Wait for it to cool.
Before you put it away, wait for the compote to cool completely. If you like, you can make a puree, crushing the quince with cutlery, or you can leave it as it is.
- Step 5: Move to a glass jar.
Once cold, pour the compote into a clean and dry glass jar with an airtight lid.
- Step 6: Tag.
Label the container with the date of storage of the compote.
- Step 7: Store the compote in the fridge.
If it remains sealed, the compote can last 1 or 2 months in the refrigerator and open only one week. If you freeze it, it can last up to 6 months, but you must transfer it to a freezer-resistant container.
How to prepare quince paste
Quince paste should be the most common form for long-term storage of quince due to its extended shelf life and flavor since it serves as a companion for bread or desserts. In addition, it has the advantage of being able to be preserved without a refrigerator.
I recommend you to use between 70% or 80% sugar of the total weight of the quince pulp; that is, for every 2.2lbs of quince, you need 1.5-1.7lbs (700 – 800g) of sugar.
- Step 1: Peel and cut the quince.
First, you need to peel and cut the quince, getting rid of the seed and leaving only the pulp.
- Step 2: Cook the pulp for 40 minutes.
In a pot with water, pour the quince pieces and cook them until they soften and make them puree.
- Step 3: Strain and weigh.
At this point, you need to weigh the pureed pulp to know how much sugar is required.
- Step 4: Cook the quince with the sugar.
You should put the quinces back in the pot and add the sugar to simmer them for about 40 or 50 min so that the mixture dissolves perfectly.
You should stir constantly using a long-handled wooden spoon to avoid burning you, as slight rashes will occur with the heat.
The quince will turn dark as time goes on and will be ready when removing a tablespoon of quince candy and leaving it on a plate is layered to separate the contents without reattaching. Another way to recognize the exact spot is when you can hold the spoon vertically in the quince paste without it falling off, as it means it’s pretty thick.
- Step 5: Pour into flattened containers.
Once the quince has achieved the correct consistency, pour it into plastic containers lined with parchment paper and let it rest for a few hours, and it’s ready.
From now on, it is time for storage, and because it is a product that you can preserve in several ways, I have a specific guide to keeping quince paste.
How to dehydrate quince
Another method that you can take into account to preserve quince consists of dehydrating, and that is also a good storage option for those who do not want to use the fridge.
It is best to use a food dehydrator, but you could use a conventional oven if you do not have one, although it can be a little more expensive.
I do not recommend dehydrating outdoors, as animals and insects could contaminate the quince, which is unsafe.
Therefore, taking all that into account, you should proceed as follows:
- Step 1: Clean and peel the quince.
Wash the quince with plenty of water and then peel it.
- Step 2: Cut into thin slices.
Chop the quince into thin slices, making it easier to dehydrate and get rid of the seeds.
- Step 3: Arrange the quince slices.
If you use an oven, put baking paper or a nonstick sheet below the quince slices, leaving space between them.
In case of using a food dehydrator, you can put the slices directly into the equipment.
- Step 4: Dehydrate.
Set the oven to a temperature of 195°F (90°C) and bake for about 6 hours. On a dehydrator, you should set it at a temperature between 122° and 134°F (50° and 57°C) between 8 or 10 hours.
They will be ready when they wrinkle a little but remain flexible. If you dry the quinces too much, you will break them as soon as you touch them.
- Step 5: Let it cool.
Once ready, you must wait for them to cool before storing them, given the heat (steam) will generate moisture. Nor should you let much time pass because the pieces could reabsorb the humidity in the environment.
- Step 6: Put in a glass jar.
Although you can also use a plastic container or an airtight bag, it is best to store the dehydrated quince in a glass container with an airtight lid. Make sure the container is clean and completely dry.
- Step 7: Tag.
Stick a label with the date of storage of the quince on the container.
- Step 8: Store at room temperature.
Store the dehydrated quince in a dry, dark, and cool place for 1 or 2 years. I advise you to shake the container from time to time so that the quince slices do not stick.
If the jar where the dehydrated quince is is wet the next day, they still retain some moisture, and it is advisable to dehydrate them again for a few more hours.
How to know if the quince is damaged?
The skin of the quince has a bright yellow tone, so if it has spots, it is an indication that it has matured too much; although it is not necessary to discard it, it will depend on the number of spots that the fruit has.
It is also essential to check that you do not have bruises or black or white spots, or a hairy zone since the latter indicates that it has developed mold.
When quince is terrible, its smell also changes, so it is best to discard it if it smells rotten, similarly if it tastes bad.
Why do quinces spoil?
Quinces are very delicate fruits, and they also continue to mature after being plucked from the tree. So if you do not have a cold environment that slows down this process, the fruit will decompose quickly.
When it is very ripe, they become even more delicate to bruise or crush with a bit of pressure. In addition, as it is a fruit is prone to attract bugs.
Also, like any other fruit or vegetables, quinces have some bacteria or microorganisms that develop on their skin and further accelerate their decomposing in the absence of cold temperatures. That’s why it’s essential to wash them before storing them.
How long does quince last?
Many factors influence this, from the state of the fruit and how you preserved it. Anyway, the shelf life of the quince is summarized in the following table.
|Green quince at room temperature||5 days|
|Ripe quince at room temperature||2 days|
|Quince in the fridge||3 – 4 weeks|
|Frozen quince (raw)||10 months|
|Frozen quince (cooked)||1 – 2 years|
|Quince syrup refrigerated (unopened)||6 months|
|Quince syrup refrigerated (opened)||7 days|
|Quince syrup refrigerated (vacuum-sealed)||1 – 2 years|
|Quince paste at room temperature||6 – 8 months|
|Quince paste in the fridge||1 – 2 years|
|Quince paste frozen||2 years|
|Quince compote in the fridge (sealed)||1 – 2 months|
|Quince compote in the fridge (unsealed)||1 week|
|Frozen quince compote||6 months|
What is the best way to preserve quince?
It depends on several aspects. First, if you want to keep the fruit intact to prepare several dishes, the best way to preserve the quince would be to store it in the fridge.
If the quinces are green, you can leave them at room temperature for a few days to ripen. Or you can also freeze them if you want to extend the shelf life.
But you can also prepare some sweets such as quince paste, quince compote, and quince in syrup which will allow you to store them for a long time with a different flavor.
To learn more about the best way to store some other fruit or food, you can explore this space as much as you want.