The Quince Diaries (1)

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I've been to the farmshop with my quinces. The boss was not there so a deal could not be made. I really couldn't be bothered to come back later when the boss might or might not be there. So I bought ingredients to make chutney and took them home again. I'm going to try and use as many as possible myself before selling or giving away.


The first thing I made with my quinces was Nigel Slater's quince pickle from Tender Vol II. It's the last picture in this post. 


As you can see mine is much yellower than Nigel's. He instructs you to simmer the quince in the pickling liquid (cider vinegar, sugar, juniper and bay leaf) for 15 -25 mins. However my quince slices began to collapse after 5 mins. Pickles are supposed to be firm not mushy so I potted them before they got any softer. The result is a
A pleasant but very sharp pickle. I expect I'll be working my way through it alone.

 Quinces have an exquisite fragrance and unique flavour. They are, however as hard as iron and inedible raw. I'm sure this is why they have fallen out of favour. These days we all want things to be easy and convenient. I don't mind the work involved in making the quince edible although I imagine that if I had a full-time job I would not be so enthusiastic.


You can see how like a pear or an apple they are. Look at the grainy flesh. This graininess never quite disappears even when cooked to softeness. My children dislike it. The cut flesh turns brown instantly, even dropping the pieces into lemon juiced water fails to stop the browning but it disappears once cooked. As the quince is cooked its colour turns from gold to rose and sometimes to crimson.


Quinces being stewed in butter, lemon juice and sugar.


To be eaten for dessert or for breakfast with thick yogurt.

This was yesterday's work. I think I cored, peeled and chopped nine quinces. I'm going to make chutney tomorrow so in the meantime I'm mustering my strength and snatching a quiet moment with my favourite puzzle, a new novel, coffee and chocolate :o)

11 comments:

  1. That's a real pity about the farm shop although you seem to be making quite good progress in using them up yourself. I must admit that I don't think that I have ever tasted a quince but you are doing a very good job of making them look very tasty indeed :O) x

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  2. Your jar of Quince pickle is beautiful as usual, a joy to look at.

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  3. Your cooked quinces do look lovely, it is a shame that the farm shop manager doesn't have a stand in but I suspect that's their loss. xxx

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  4. I hope you are enjoying One Fine Day. I have four precious (expensive) quinces and am just enjoying their scent for a while before I cook them.

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  5. Definitely the farm boss's loss.

    I enjoyed this post,learning about the quinces. It's sort of coming full circle seeing the tree progress through the months, and looking at the final harvest and of course you're not finished with them yet, as there is the eating to do :o)

    This is a great blog, about so many things, but it's lovely to have the tree at the heart of it, after all it is The Quince Tree!

    A x

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  6. I do love the colors of the quinces as they cook, nature in all its glory once again. The jar of pickled quince looks too good to eat.
    x Sandi

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  7. Hi..wow your picke looks delicious..have tried to see if i can get hold of some myself but no luck..i'll have to settle for looking at yours...as someone said its nice to see the heart of your blog come full circle...
    sara

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  8. I found this site.... http://www.fruitshare.net/
    Might be just the ticket for those extra quinces! :)

    M x

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  9. Anonymous3:16 pm BST

    I don't ever remember having eaten quinces other than in jam. I love the look of the cooked ones ready to eat with yogurt; I think I would like those! One fine day is in my saved Amazon basket, I tend to make very impulsive purchases or procrastinate for ever. Would love to know if you enjoy it. I have a constant wrestle with myself over doing 'stuff' like crochet or reading. They both eat up so much time - I also get way-laid by pretty craft books instead of getting on with my own. I really do wish I was more of a doer than a dreamer!
    Siobhan

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  10. never had a quince myself, but my mouth water when I look at your recipes.

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