This year I scavenged about 20 kilos of quinces – most of which came from Jack’s family across the road who have an old tree in their sheep paddock. I picked those ones back in early March before my trip away – bottling about 18 jars before I went away to NSW. And eating a few.
In the past I’d never quite cooked quinces enough. The hand-me-down slow cooker from Robin’s sister made all the difference. The quinces turned the most amazing maroon overnight, fragrancing the whole house. And begging to be scattered on muesli, warm and juices dribbling, at breakfast time.
I came home from my trip to a kitchen smelling of quinces – Sheila, Jack’s Mum, had dropped over another large bag full so I bottled some more, made some quince paste by accident, made some quince-cardamom-orange marmelade and also two delicious cakes, one of which worked it’s way over the road as a thank-you.
Quince Past by Accident Recipe – prep quinces as for bottling but do a few too many. Put those in a saucepan and cook at higher heat. The quinces will go fluffy instead of holding their shape. Add sugar to taste and cook until the right colour. Set in a silicon muffin tray lightly oiled.
The final batch included some from a family friend at Kettering. Inspired by Christine Ferber’s book Mes Confitures, I made some quince juice ready for later addition to apples. And bottled some with both grated fresh ginger and crystallised ginger as a delectable dessert. This was an adaptation of a jam recipe from the same book but we eat more stewed fruits than jam. Still debating whether to tell Robin there is a pot of this in the fridge or quietly eat it myself. Let’s see how quickly he reads this post!
And I thought I’d dealt with all the quinces. Then this morning I found the puree made from the quinces I’d turned into juice – the gently stewed fruit still had some good flavour so I’d pureed it, and popped it in the fridge to make paste later. This morning I made another 6 blobs of quince paste, and …
A sheet of quince paste about 5mm thick for cutting into rounds and putting in the middle of macarons. Sigh
And that is the end of the quince harvest, I think.