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Quince paste, Quittenbrot, Membrillo

Quincepaste

Alchemy indeed: Who would believe the golden quince would transform itself into such coral gems when cooked with a bit of sugar? I was skeptical as I pureed the fruit into pulp and gingerly stirred the bubbling, burping mass with a very long-necked wooden spoon. After an overnight cool, though, the deep orange round emerged smooth and sweet from its pan.

David, with his steady hand, was in charge of carving the slab into squares, which he did quite charmingly, I think, dusting them in sugar and arraying them in jolly lines on their sheet of brown paper. I haven't been able to stop nibbling away, intrigued by their texture, though the sweetness verges on too sweet and I think I ought to have experimented with one or two unconventional spices in the mix before the grand cooking down began.

I'll leave that for next time. For now, the little irregular cubes make a perfect informal gift, swaddled in said brown paper, and tied up with a bow. To try it yourself, do what I did, and cobble together a recipe from Nicky's, Melissa's and Michelle's. A few comments: I took note of the need for acidity and solved it by splashing in a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar; I'm sure lemon juice would work just as well. Also, I boiled the quince whole as per Melissa's recipe, but found them impossible to peel, so didn't, and didn't notice any roughness at all. And finally, my quince seemed especially moist and needed a full day of drying out (in the switched-off oven) before the texture was ripe for slicing. Happy quincing!

Quincesquareslookingjolly_2

Comments

Not only are there two small jars in my cupboard of quince jelly (the third I gifted to my friendly Turkish neighbors) - I also had enough to make a small dessert for three of quince (poached with shredded apple bits, lemon juice, water and sugar), a sprightly chiffonade of fresh mint and vanilla ice cream.

Yvonne, that's wonderful that you had so much fun with the quince. I'd love to do a proper quince jelly sometime myself.

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