When it’s quince season, I find as much quince as possible and make this cardamom quince jam. I have warm memories of my mom and grandmother in the kitchen prepping quince for the freezer. Just peel, quarter, and core, and you can enjoy quince all year round.

Top view of golden orange jam in a glass jar.

You may not have cooked with quince before, but it’s so worth it to make this recipe. It is delicious on top of toast with feta cheese. The sweet, lightly spiced richness of the jam with salty feta is a match made in heaven!

Why this Recipe Works

Cooked quince has been described as somewhere between an apple and a pear. It’s rarely eaten raw, and when cooked has an amazing sweet tart flavor. It works well in jams because the sweetness of sugar helps balance the strong tartness and brings out the natural aromatics of the quince.

Quince is also perfect for making a jam because it’s already high in pectin, so no additional pectin is needed to thicken the consistency of the jam.

I love pairing spice with sweetness, and the hint of piney cardamom and rich cinnamon complement the quince perfectly. Add a bit of crumbled feta on your jam and toast for a fantastic flavor combo!

Ingredients & Substitutions

Fruit, sugar, spices, and yellow quince on white marble countertop.

Quince – Quince is in season in the fall, from late September to very early November, so take advantage of all the delicious fresh quince at this time of year.

Cinnamon stick – For a replacement, you could use ground cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, or clove. I prefer cinnamon sticks for their slow release of flavor.

Cardamom pods – the whole seeds in the cardamom pod infuse slowly into the jam instead of overpowering it as ground cardamom would.

Lemon – if you can’t get your hands on a lemon, you could buy pre-made lemon juice, lime juice could work, orange juice, or citric acid powder

Sugar – white can sugar can be subbed out for honey, light brown sugar, or turbinado sugar.

How to Make this Recipe

The first step is to thoroughly wash the quince to remove the fuzzy layer on the outside. Then, slice, peel, and core your quince. Chop it up into small manageable pieces.

Two hands wiping outside fuzz off a yellow quince fruit.

Next add the water, lemon juice, and sugar to a big saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Then, add in the chopped quince, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods.

Diced yellow fruit with water in a large pot on a stove.

Simmer until the quince is soft and the mixture has thickened. This should take about 1 hour.

Now, remove and discard the cinnamon stick and the cardamom seed pods. Transfer the mixture into sealable jars. As the jam mixture cools, it will thicken more.

Note: Remember, the jam will range from pink to yellow depending on the type of quince. It can also be smooth or chunky depending on what size you cut the quince down to.

Orange jam in jars.

Slather on toast, mix into yogurt, serve with a hot biscuit, or add over that dollop of whipped cream on your favorite pound cake.

More Seasonal Recipes

Explore more ways to use seasonal produce like quince and persimmons AND make the most of the season with these superb Fall recipes!

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Orange jam in jars.

Cardamom Quince Jam

5 from 12 votes
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This jam is delicious on top of toast with feta cheese! It's sweet and spiced, bringing all the tart aromatic goodness of quince.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Persian
Diet: Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 20
Calories: 108kcal


  • 2 lb. quince peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar granulated
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 8 cardamom pods pierced to expose cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick


  • Wash the quince to remove the fuzzy layer on the outside. Then, slice, peel, and core the quince.
  • Add the water, lemon juice, and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Then, add the quince, cinnamon, and cardamom pods. Simmer until the fruit is soft and the mixture thickened, about 1 hour.
  • Discard the cinnamon stick and cardamom seed pods. As it cools, it will thicken more. Refrigerate in a sealed container or jar and use within two weeks.
  • Slather on toast, mix into yogurt, serve with a hot biscuit, or add over that dollop of whipped cream on your favorite pound cake.



Use a sharp knife to cut the quince – it can be very tough.
This recipe will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Depending on the type of quince you use, it might turn pink as you cook it. This is natural.
Since quince are naturally high in pectin, additional pectin is not necessary to thicken.


Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 8.2mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Did you try this recipe?I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a Review to let us know how it came out, if you have a successful substitution or variation, or anything else.

This post was originally published in July of 2019 but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, FAQs, and tips in October of 2021.


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