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Posts Tagged ‘quince paste’

Quinces

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The wonderful Dot, chef extraordinaire, dropped around a bag of ripe yellow quinces last week.  Pete and I were pretty excited – we’ve bought lots of quince paste in the past, but had never attempted making our own.

After some research, we decided to try our hand at quince jelly – a process which involved washing and chopping up the whole fruit, then boiling it down to mush in water.  Like apple jelly, the whole lot is then drained through calico and allowed to drip through.  We were surprised by how viscous the quince juice was – it didn’t drip much at all – and the calico was probably too thick for this purpose.  We weren’t able to squeeze the fruit pulp, as that creates cloudy jelly, so Pete reboiled the quinces in more water and let them drain a second time to get more liquid out of them.  The quinces produced a wonderful aroma on cooking – a gorgeous, sweet, floral scent which lingered in the kitchen for ages.

The drained juice was boiled up, lemon juice, sugar and homemade pectin added and this gorgeous red jelly was the end result.

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I’d read on the internet that it was possible to reuse all the pulp to make quince paste, so I dutifully dug out the food mill and processed all the leftovers, discarding the seeds and skins.  What I hadn’t read was how gritty the pulp actually is – I ended up having to sieve the puree before putting it all into a large baking tray, with sugar, and allowing it to bake for several hours in the oven until thick.  The quince paste is delicious and worth the effort (just), but I can see why people pay lots of money to buy it!

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It’s astonishing how much flavour the quinces had to offer.  We were able to use every last bit of them to produce nine jars of jelly and four jars of paste!

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