Fruiting now: Quince (Cydonia oblonga)
(23 April 2015)
The tart and equally nutritious Quince tree has been fruiting in our region over the past few months, and with so many options regarding their culinary uses, the biggest challenge will be deciding which ones to choose. Personally, I can’t go past poached quince and pear or a delicious quince paste or jelly. The following is a jelly recipe I have used with good results:
1.6 kilos of quinces
Water for cooking, approximately 7 cups
Just under 1 cup of sugar for every cup of quince juice extracted from stewed fruit and cooking liquid.
Core and chop quinces, leaving skin on.
Put fruit in large saucepan, adding enough water to cover and bring to the boil.
Simmer until fruit is soft, approximately 40 minutes.
Mash fruit and cooking liquid to consistency of apple sauce.
Strain juice from mixture using two layers of cheesecloth draped over strainer and saucepan for around four hours. You should get around 4 cups of juice.
Measure juice collected, adding just under 1 cup of sugar for every cup of juice.
Bring mixture to boil, stirring regularly to prevent sugar sticking to bottom of saucepan.
Simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, until it begins to change colour and consistency changes.
Check if ready by putting teaspoon of mixture onto cold ceramic saucer which has been in the freezer. Leave for around 10 seconds; if mixture crinkles when you push your finger through it, it’s ready to go.
Pour hot liquid into sterilised preserving jars.