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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another look at Quince - Preserves with a floral flavor!

quince fruitHere is a repost from the original work that I did with Quince. I thought it needed another look for those of you who keep seeing it in the market and want to give it a try. 

I did want to say a little about the fruit called Quince. It’s a hard fruit that looks sort of like a cross between an apple and a pear. Most varieties you can’t eat raw, only cooked. They are not easy to peel, but their skin is where most of their pectin resides. They cook up pink and have a wonderful sweet floral aroma. Like apples and pears, they’re in season during the fall. Quince paste, a concentrated version, is most likely the national snack of Spain when paired with Manchego, sheep’s milk cheese.

Quince Paste Membrillo
Quince Paste (Membrillo)
I went to the farmers market on Sunday out at Camino Real Center and amongst the throngs of Apples were the Quince. I recognize them from the pictures I had seen. I just couldn't resist trying them in a simple way since they are very odd and I had never eaten them before.

Here is the recipe for a fantastic Quince Preserve from the Complete Ball Canning Book. I had a bit left from filling the jars last night and tried it on toast this morning for breakfast. It is sweet like a nectarine, but has a great texture like a peach when preserved. The flavor was a bit floral just as it was described which made me think, "how decadent".

Quince Preserve
canning quince fruit preserves
3 cups Sugar
8 cups water
7 cups cored peeled quartered Quince

Prepare canner, jars, and lids. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil hard, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in Quince. Reduce heat and boil gently; stirring frequently, until fruit is transparent and syrup thickens. The process takes about 1 1/2 hours. Test for consistency using gel method of choice. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, remove air bubbles, refill to 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims and add hot lids/rings and process 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

Quince Paste - Here is a great link to a recipe that give you step by step instructions! 

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