it has been a month since we had our quince picking adventure, and we are still using the quince. most were unripe when we picked, and i have been gradually using them as they slowly ripen. in the photo above (and below), you can see how they range in shape from apple to pear, and everything inbetween. a friend on facebook recommended drying them and using them to scent my linen drawers, which is a very good idea, and one that i haven't tried yet. they smell very fragrant, almost floral.
when i last posted i had made a large batch of juice, and then sauce (like applesauce) from the quince, and found that they both needed a lot of sugar to be very agreeable. since then i have made a large batch of quince jelly, a large batch of quince syrup (made just like the jelly, but not cooked as long), and a large batch of vanilla quince butter - this is a variation of a martha stewart recipe. the juice is very light, paler than apple juice, but it turns a lovely rosy red when it is cooked into jelly/syrup/butter.
emily from spain commented on my last quince post about how they eat quince in spain. it sounds almost identical to the way i made the quince butter. she said:
"Hello, I came here from your Etsy shop. I am from Spain (but live in the US) and over there, quince is very appreciated. The way we prepare it is:
Peel the fruit, take the core off and cut it in four. Put it in boiling water and boil for about half hour. Take it out of the water and mix the quince with sugar, same weigh in sugar as in quince. Put it in a pan, medium heat, for anogher half hour, stirring continuously with a spatula to avoid the sugar to burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. While stirring, cut the quince pieces with the edge of the spatula. It will thicken. If you want it to be very smooth, you can use a blender when it is completely cooked. Put it in a rectangular pan (silicon works great) and leave it in the cooler for one day. Take it out of the pan to a plate. We usually have it as a dessert, just a small amount, a couple of bites. It is very good with cheese. Yummy, I wish I could have some quince here!"
my favorite part of her comment is:
"We usually have it as a dessert, just a small amount, a couple of bites."
wouldn't it be amazing if we americans could learn to approach dessert in a similar fashion - just a small amount, a couple of bites?
speaking of desserts, my most favorite quince creation is this recipe for honey poached quince pie (shown above). it was so good that i've canned 8 quarts of the pie filling. it will be heavenly over french toast or pancakes or ice cream. it is by far the most delicious pie filling i have ever tasted. brock came across some online info that said the recipes have been found from ancient rome for cooking quince with honey, and although i had my doubts as to how it would taste, it is divine.