In the depths of winter when Mother Nature’s stern gaze petrifies everything but the most stalwart of plants, one fruit reins. The knarly yet beautiful Quince, tough and bitter at the offset transforms into something silky sweet with an aroma like no other.
If you stumble upon Quince, I can’t urge you enough to make a batch of this, it will reward you from the depths of your cupboard for the year to follow. As great as a glaze for meats and vegetables as it is for filling pies and cakes. Nature at its finest.
1 kg Quince, chopped into 2 cm cubes including peel and core
700-900g Preserving Sugar
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Orange Blossom water
2-3 Sterilised Jam Jars
1. Begin the day before. Add the quince to a large saucepan and cover with 2.7 Litres of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 90 minutes or until the quince is tender. Alternatively add to a pressure cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes.
2. Mash the quince to a pulp with a potato masher
3. Set up two chairs or stools with a pole between them and pop a large heatproof bowl below. Tumble the quince into a muslin and tie onto the pole. Allow the pulp to drip through overnight into the bowl.
4. Discard the pulp in the bag and measure out the strained juice into a large, deep sided saucepan.
5. For every 600ml of juice, add 510g Sugar. Stir through and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Add the lemon juice.
6. Once dissolved, increase the heat, and bring to a vigorous boil. The mixture will foam up but don’t worry, this will subside. Boil until the mixture reaches 104-105C, or when the mixture wrinkles when a blob is pushed on a cold saucer.
7. Ladle into your sterile jars, cool then store in a cool dark place for up to a year. Once opened, store in the fridge.