Ah…one is in the mood for singing show tunes, no? What a lovely day it is here at AFFFG. I read just about every newspaper known to womankind today and I have to say, I’m feeling pretty…yes, hopeful. There will be plenty of time for complaints, mistakes, regrets, and all the rest in the months to come. But for today, we must celebrate. With singing, and with quince, as you do!
I finally got around to making the quince paste. There is a very good read-a-long recipe here. If you have never made quince paste before, I highly recommend reading this as a starting point. It gives you an idea of the big picture and even includes how the author did not get the paste quite right and how she corrected the problem.
Which brings me to my point. After two years in a row of making quince paste, I have learned that it is a bit of an art. Last year my paste was basically fruit leather, just way too tough and gnarly. Also, the recipe I followed last year said to leave the seeds in when boiling up the quince initially. That is a mistake if you are then going to use the quince meat to make paste because it’s actually not fun to eat ground-up quince seeds in your soft, lovely quince paste. This year my paste is just a bit too mushy, but much more manageable and tasty. This year instead of sugar, I used honey, so that definitely changed the liquid content of the paste. Lessons learned.
There is a good recipe for quince jelly here. If you want to make your quince jelly with honey instead of sugar, I recommend 3/4 c of honey per every 1 c of quince juice, instead of the equal amounts juice and sugar that most recipes call for. I also used Pomona’s pectin this year because I did not want to stress about how the honey might change the liquid content of my jelly, blah blah. The jelly turned out fine, but not as clear and visually pretty as when I used sugar last year.
So, since there are already good recipes out there for quince jelly and quince paste, I figured I’d let you know about a little gem called quince juice. Yes, juice! Mmmmmm!
Basically, this is how you prepare to make quince jelly, but instead of using the quince juice to make the jelly, you simply sweeten the juice and drink it.
makes about 4 cups
- Take 4 lbs of quince and chop them up into 1″ cubes, removing the seeds.
- Put quince cubes in a big pot and just cover with water.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer until quince are mushy. Mash them in the pot thusly:
- Strain the quince through cheesecloth for several hours or overnight (you can cover with a clean towel).
- Put the quince meat aside to make paste later. You can freeze it if you won’t get around to pasting for a few days.
- Add agave syrup or sweetener of your choice to the remaining quince liquid. This is quince juice and it’s pretty darn tasty. In fact, it’s so good that I forgot to take a picture of it.