This weeks blog is bought to you courtesy of my sister who not only shared her recipe but also some of the finished product. Lucky me. Mmmmm. This recipe is for making quince paste and jelly AT THE SAME TIME!!! Much less waste.
Take as many quinces as you have, or the amount you will be able to fit in a covered roasting dish in your oven. Wash them to get as much of the fluff off as you can and cut out any splits or imperfections but otherwise leave them whole. Put them in a roasting dish, piled on top of each other to the top if need be and put a couple of centimeters of water in the bottom. Put a lid or tinfoil on the top and into the oven for 2 hours on 150 C.
When you take them out of the oven they will smell lovely and look a little bit pink. Let them cool off and then get in with your hands and remove what skin you can and the neat little cores will come out. Hang the pulp in a clean teatowel or muslin overnight, to drip into the roasting dish with the rest of the juice.
For the Jelly:
The next day measure how many cups of juice you have and strain them through a sieve to get out any stray bits of quince. Boil the liquid rapidly, stirring occasionally for 5 mins. There might be a bit of a scum on the top, which you can skim off if you want to. Add a cup of sugar for every cup of liquid and boil on a lower heat for another 10-15mins, stir occasionally. Do the setting test of putting a little bit on a saucer and in the fridge. After 5 mins take it out and see if a skin has formed. When ready, pour into sterilised jars and leave to cool. Store in the fridge and give a lot of this away as it has far too much sugar in it to be healthy!!!
For the Paste:
Weigh the pulp and then put through a mouli, kitchen wiz, (I use one of those weedeater stick blenders). Weigh the pulp and add ¾ of the pulp weight in sugar. Because you have taken the moisture for the jelly, add a little bit of water to the pan to make sure it doesn’t stick – approx. 1/4 cup per 2 cups of pulp. Stir continuously on a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Then cook on a low heat, I use number 1 on my stove, stirring every 5 mins or so, until it looks dark rose in colour and has significantly reduced. This takes between 1-1 ½ hours and I usually combine it with making something else in the kitchen to make it worthwhile. The bigger the surface area of your pan the quicker it will cook – a heavy bottomed, high sided frying pan is ideal.
CAUTION: when stirring this pulpy mixture it gets a bit like the Rotorua mud pools and hot “lava” can splash up at you. I find stirring fast reduces this and wearing long sleeves is a good idea!
When it is looking a lovely rosey quincey colour, pour it into a big square dish that is lightly oiled with a neutral flavoured oil. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place (not the fridge) for 2-3 days. It should look like its setting to the point where you could cut it. If not, back to the pot and cook a bit longer. When it is able to be cut, make the blocks the size that suits you and wrap lightly in baking paper. I then put these, wrapped up, on a biscuit cooling tray, in the spare room for a few more days to let a bit of air get around them, before putting into a container in my pantry. Don’t put in an airtight container as the air around them will help them continue to mature over the coming months (if they last that long).
You can use them whenever but they do improve with age. Lovely with a blue cheese, some crackers and walnuts.
As per jelly, wise to give a bit of this away as has a load of sugar!! Quinces the taste of autumn.