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)