Ayva: Winter’s Surprise!

 And here I thought the fruit season had finished…

  Have you ever had quince?  If you are from the south eastern US, you probably haven’t.  It’s called ayva in Turkey, and it’s season is the fall/winter.  Four years ago I stared longingly at the ayva tree in our garden, desiring to try its fruits.  However, since we only stayed for the summer, it wasn’t my nasip at the time.

  But now, now it’s time!

quince on a white background
stolen from google 🙂

Ayva surprised me with how astringent it is, nearly sucking the moisture right out of my mouth.  I like it…but I love it as a jam!  Another sign of the change in season, ayva reçel is undoubtedly boiling on the stove of many Turks right now.  Spiced with cinnamon and (sometimes) clove, this jam reminds me of the US fall flavors I’ve been looking for.  This jam is particularly easy in that the seeds produce all of the gelatinous qualities you would normally need pectin for!



5-6 quince, peeled, cored, and grated


approx. 5c of sugar

1 stick cinnamon

1 tsp clove (optional)

quince seeds


1. Prepare a small pouch from a cheese cloth, old scarf, or another fine fabric- and place the quince seeds inside.

2. Put the quince in a pot with the seed pouch, covering them with water. Boil until the water is reduced by approx. half and the fruit is soft.

3. Add the sugar to the mix and melt it in.  Add the spices.

4.  Allow the mixture to simmer until it turns pink.  The concoction will still be liquidy.

5. Pour into glass jars hot, allowing them to cool with their tops off.   Once cooled, it will solidify.