a friend from church invited us to come and pick apples, or pears, or asian pears? she wasn't sure what they were - from her over-loaded tree. i had prayed recently that we could get some free apples or pears for canning this year, if possible, and so i really had to take her up on it, even though i didn't know what they were, or what to do with them. they are quite unusual - some are shaped like apples, and some like pears. they have an asian pear type texture - crisp and juicy, and are very aromatic, almost lemony - with a good but distinctly bitter taste, similar to a crabapple, but not as strong. we picked a huge tub for her - she is recovering from a serious injury and couldn't do the picking herself, three boxes for us, and a box for another friend whose daughter came with us. this last friend told another friend about the mystery fruit, and she said they sounded like quince, a relative of the pear and apple, that originated in persia (thank you google - and according to photos online, that must be what they are). i have juiced a batch - they make a lot of juice - 5 1/2 quarts from one batch! - the juice is good, but needs sweetening - i added stevia extract. and then made quince sauce (like apple sauce) from the remains. i added brown sugar and apple pie spice, and it is a little unusual, but yummy. i would prefer not to need to sweeten, but a great bonus is that these fruit weren't sprayed. i love that! i love pesticide free!
i've searched for recipes, and plan to try quince jelly, which is supposed to be very good, and quince vanilla butter (like apple butter).
and speaking of yummy recipes, we made whole wheat, oatmeal, banana pancakes for dinner tonight (teddy bear shaped pancakes are a tradition for our conference weekends, and we hadn't had them yet), with this new recipe i found. so yummy! i added chocolate chips, which was messy, but extra yummy! i don't recommend using this recipe for shaped pancakes though, it was a ltitle too thick to lend itself well to teddy bear shapes. i added chopped bananas to the pancakes just before flipping them to cook on the second side.