As promised, here are some quincey recipes for y’all! A little late, grant ya, but DON’T JUDGE I’m a busy lady.
First off you’ll need to peel, core and chop the quinces. This is annoying and difficult because quinces are knobbly and fuzzy and real tricky to cut so WATCH YOUR FINGERS. About a 1-2cm dice is ideal.
Weigh out your clean, diced fruits, then pop them in a heavy saucepan and top them up with a little water- about three quarters of the way up the side. Save a few pinches of peeled skin and cores and tie them up in a square of clean cloth. Pop that in the pot as well- the
Simmer them until they soften up. This will take a LONG TIME so be PATIENT. Feel free to break up any chunks with your spoon.
Once they’re nice and soft you’re ready to add in your sugar. I went with 3 parts sugar to 4 parts fruit, maybe a little less? See how your sweet tooth is feeling on the day I guess.
Now there’s nothing to do but let the damn thing bubble away until it’s thick. Try and refrain from stirring too much at this point as you’ll crystallise the sugar (but obviously try to avoid burning it). I made a HEAP of jam and it took like 3 hours, so get a good show ready to binge. It’s delightful to see the colour change to that deep ruby colour so don’t forget to watch the jam too.
The jam is ready once it passes the ‘wrinkle test’. If you don’t remember what that is i will direct you to my previous post about Strawberry Jam. Pop the finished jam into hot sterilised jars (again, read this if you’ve forgotten) and seal them up real good.
Quince paste is a delicious accompaniment to cheese, cured meats, olives; basically all the good stuff. It’s also known as membrillo in Spain, and often served with Manchego cheese. In Portugal it’s called marmalada and FUN FACT this is the origin of what we now know as marmalade. Traditionally it’s made of quinces not citrus! WHAT A FUN FACT!
Okidoki SO we’re going to start out exactly the same way as the jam. Clean/chop/simmer til soft etc. Before you add any sugar push the soft fruit through a sieve into a big bowl and weigh it. You’ll need an equal amount of sugar (YES I KNOW IT’S A LOT SETTLE DOWN) so chuck that in the pot and simmer it for a loooooooong tiiiiiime.
Seriously, longer than for jam. Stir only as often as you need, although that will become more frequent as the paste gets thicker. Eventually it will be so thick that when you stir it, your wooden spoon will leave a clear trail along the bottom of the pan.
Line a lamington tin with baking paper and scrape the paste into it, smoothing it out. Leave it in a very very very low oven for several hours or even overnight until it’s very firm. Cool it, cut it up into chunks and wrap up the pieces. It will keep for basically ever, although chances are you will eat it all real quick with delicious cheese because it’s SO GOOD.
Another option is to dry out the paste in a thin sheet on a baking tray to make delicious roll ups. I like to take them as snacks on long hikes because I am VERY CLASSY.
Quince & Cardamom Jelly
I got this wonderful recipe from The Modern Preserver which I borrowed from a good friend and neighbour. I have a few tweaks because of who I am as a person, but i definitely recommend the book because there are lots of awesome recipes and ideas in there.
Take about 1.5kg cleaned, cored quince and cover with water and boil the crap of out it until it’s soft and mash it up a little.
Strain through a cloth in the fridge overnight to collect the juice (FUN LUCY TWEAK: save all the leftover pulp for a sneaky batch of quince paste). You should have about a litre of juice, so add 800g sugar, 30ml lemon juice and a couple of cardamom pods.
Bring it to the boil slowly to dissolve the sugar, and then rapidly boil for about 20 minutes. Use the wrinkle test to check if it’s set. Skim any scum from the surface and allow it to sit for 5 minutes so the bubbles can dissipate. Pour into hot sterilised jars, keeping a cardamom pod in each jar cause that flavour will keep steeping.
Cardamom is SUCH A GOOD MATCH for quince and I’m pretty much obsessed with this.
ANYWAY let me know if y’all have a go at any of these. Quinces are so good, and it’s really worth it!