Category Archives: quince

Spiced Quince Liqueur

Here’s another quince liqueur recipe. This one is new to me, based on one in Barbara Ghazarian’s Simply Quince. She uses sugar and of course we don’t here at AFFFG.

Spiced Quince Liqueur

2 large quinces, washed, cored, and grated

4 cups or 750 ml vodka (I use Monopolowa)

2 cups honey (I prefer wildflower or berry honey because of their floral flavor, but clover is also fine)

6 cloves

2 3-inch cinnamon sticks

1/2 tsp mace

1 tsp almond extract

  1. Put the honey and vodka in a saucepan over medium heat and stir occasionally until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Put all ingredients in a big jar and shake it.
  3. Store in a cool place and shake it once a week.
  4. Should be ready by Thanksgiving. Strain through a coffee filter and put in a pretty jar, where the liqueur will just get better as it ages.
Current liqueur in the jar on the left. A previous year's version on the right.

Current liqueur in the jar on the left. A previous year’s version on the right. Mmmm.

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Fall Foraging in the Northwest

The only excuse I can offer for not posting in a coon’s age is, in a word, summer. Enough said.

To make up for it, here are a bunch of photos of things the Foodie family foraged from the fields of the Willamette Valley this weekend. Yea! And once again, I wish I were a better photographer.

Mixed walnuts in their shells. Fond memories of walnut gathering as a kid out in Niles Canyon. 🙂

Rose hips for jelly and tea. I can’t determine whether these are SCD legal or not. Anyone know?

Hazelnuts. There were so many, people literally had buckets to collect them in. We collected about two of these jars full. Plans for these include a homemade SCD gianduja.

Hazelnuts still in the flower. This is how they look coming off the tree and often on the ground. Over time, they fall out of the flower and just the nut is left. These flowers are dry and crackly, like a corn husk, and prickly on one’s fingers.

Seeds from wildflowers. I think the one on the left is Centaurium erythraea (Common centaury) and the one on the right is Tanacetum vulgare (Common tansy). Shout out to the awesome I’ve gotten into using Latin names lately, the reason for which I hope to blog about soon.

Saving the best for last! These came from a neighbor’s quince tree, about as local as one can get. This is probably 50-70 lbs, which is all we could gather from the tree (some were too high up to reach). I’m hoping to make quince jack this year for a friend’s speakeasy party in early December, among other things.

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Quince Liqueur

It’s my favorite time of year: quince time! I’m starting with about 25 lbs this year. Should be enough to make everything on my list:

  • Jelly
  • Vinegar
  • Liqueur
  • Poached
  • Stuffing for Thanksgiving

A friend of mine has a speakeasy party every December where many attendees bring their homemade hooches to share. I always bring quince, but this will be the first year I’m trying an SCD-legal version. Here’s the recipe I’m using:

SCD Quince Liqueur

4 c or 750 ml vodka

2/3 c water

1 1/2 c honey

2 medium-sized quinces, grated

  1. Combine the water and honey in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Boil for five minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the vodka into a large jar.
  3. When the honey-water mixture is ready, strain it into the vodka jar. Straining it will remove any foam. Set the jar aside.
  4. Wash and dry the quince to remove their fuzz.
  5. Quarter and grate them, and add to the jar. Should look something like this:
    Quince liqueur in a jar
  6. Shake it well to combine everything.
  7. Shake it once or twice a day for a week, then put in a cupboard (cool, dark place) for a few weeks, shaking it once a week. Should be ready by Thanksgiving.


Filed under liqueurs, quince, Recipes, SCD, Uncategorized

Quince Jelly, two ways

Before I started back on SCD again, I made my usual round of quince jelly. One minor health crisis later, and now I’ve made quince jelly using honey instead of sugar, which is SCD-compliant. Here is the recipe, with instructions for both sugar and honey versions:

Quince Jelly

4 c quince juice (you’ll get this from 4 lbs of quince)

3 c of sugar or 2 lbs of honey

2 T lemon juice (only needed for the sugar version)

optional: spices such as star anise, vanilla, or ginger. I have found 5 star anises, 1 vanilla bean, or a 1″ piece of unpeeled ginger thinly sliced work well.

  1. Wash 4 lbs of quince to remove the fuzz.
  2. Cut them into one-inch pieces and toss into a big pot with some water in it to keep them from browning while you cut up all the quince. You don’t have to core or remove the seeds, unless you are saving the seeds to make quince tea (in which case, set the seeds aside to dry).
  3. After you’ve cut up all the quince and they’re in the pot, make sure the water is just covering them.
  4. Add any spices you’re using.
  5. Bring the quince-water up to a boil and then simmer it for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Remove the spices and mash the quince, then let simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. When cool enough to handle, drain the cooked quince through a few layers of cheese cloth over a bowl to catch the juice. Let it drain for a couple of hours. (At this point, I often freeze the juice until I’m ready to make jelly from it.)
  8. Measure the amount of juice you have. As a general rule, you’ll use 3/4 c of sugar or honey to 1 cup of quince juice. You should have approximately 4 cups.
  9. In your preserving pot (it’s best to use a white enamel or copper-bottomed pot to prevent scorching), combine the quince juice, the sweetener, and if you’re using sugar, the lemon juice. Stir to dissolve everything and bring up to 222F, which is the gel point, stirring occasionally and removing foam (there will be a ton of it if you use honey). This will take a while, but will allow you witness one of the most beautiful colors in the natural world.
  10. In the meantime, sterilize your jars and lids. Do this by boiling the jars for 15 minutes and putting the lids in for the last five minutes of that. Then just keep them all warm until you’re ready to spoon in the jelly.
  11. When your jelly reaches 222F, use a clean ladle to pour into the sterilized jars, keeping 1/4″ head space. Put the lids on and screw on the bands (the bands don’t need to be sterilized).
  12. Technically speaking, you don’t need to further process this jelly as you would a jam, fruit butter, or preserves. However, if it makes you feel better, you can process the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
  13. Store in a cool, dark place.
quince jelly

The two on the left are the quince-honey and are a little darker than the quince-sugar version on the right.


Filed under breakfast, canning, holiday recipes, quince, Recipes, SCD

Quince Vinegar

Here’s Barbara Ghazarian’s recipe for quince vinegar. She was kind enough to let me reprint this from her amazing quince cookbook, Simply Quince. I met her last year at the local fruit show. Her book is completely awesome.

This is my second year making quince vinegar. It’s easy and delicious, especially on late summer tomatoes and roasted beets. Sadly, now that I’ve gone off sugar, I’ll probably be giving away the vinegar as holiday gifts. Oh well. Maybe I’ll try making some with honey.

Quince Vinegar

4 c white wine vinegar

1 c sugar

2 to 2.5 c of peeled and grated quince

  1. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and quince in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Make sure to provide proper ventilation to disperse the vinegar fumes.
  2. Turn the heat off and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Line a sieve with moistened, double-lined cheesecloth. Set the sieve over a bowl and strain the fruit-vinegar mixture. Discard the fruit and return the vinegar to the saucepan. At this stage in the process, the vinegar will be a golden-apricot color.
  4. Reheat and boil gently for 15 minutes. This second boil reduces the vinegar to a rich orange color and intensifies the flavor. Pour into clean, sterilized glass bottles or jars with airtight lids and store in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator. This vinegar only improves with age (MJ: I can attest to that!)
bottle of quince vinegar

Quince vinegar (in the background is a picture of me in France drinking a kir)


Filed under quince, Recipes

Quince Kugel

I didn’t know what a kugel was. I’d always heard of them, but never had one. Therefore, I had nothing to judge this against, so, I felt it turned out pretty good. Now that I’m reading up a little online about what a kugel actually is, I’m thinking I can continue to tweak this recipe, perhaps with the addition of dairy. In any case, I think I did figure out that a kugel is a loose term for a kind of casserole dish and can be sweet (e.g., apple kugel) or savory (e.g., noodle kugel). Here’s even a gluten-free potato kugel recipe for those following along at home. And here’s something called the Top 10 Kugel Recipes. Hmmm. That’s a lot kugel, or kugels?

Also, this is fulfilling part of my current mission to try new recipes using quince. (Coming soon: quince jello!)

This recipe is SCD-compliant, baby.

Quince Kugel

2 quince

4 eggs, separated

1/2 c. nut flour (I used hazelnut)

1/2 c. raisins

3 T honey

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/8 tsp kosher salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, blend the honey and egg yolks together. It helps to drizzle the honey into the yolks slowly while whisking. Ask a friend for help here.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.
  4. Peel and grate the quince using a box grater. Don’t use the tiny shred, use the more medium shred size.
  5. Add the shredded quince to the honey-yolk mixture.
  6. Add the lemon juice, salt, and raisins and mix together with a wooden spoon.
  7. Now gently fold in the egg whites.
  8. Pour this batter into a well butter glass baking dish (8×8 or circle works well).
  9. Bake at 325F for an hour. You will likely need to put foil over the top for the final 15 minutes to keep it from browning too much.
  10. To serve, drizzle honey over and would be nice served with dairy (SCD yogurt), I think. Mmmm.
kugel pre-oven

Here's the kugel before I put it in the oven.

kugel post-oven

Here's the kugel after its rendezvous with the oven.

And here's the kugel drizzled with honey and sitting atop my Granny's antique plate.

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Filed under dessert, quince, Recipes, SCD

The Quinces Are Here!


Bit of a tradition around here, getting the quinces. Here are some pics. I’ve already made two batches of quince hooch and I’m working on some vinegar as we speak (recipe coming soon).

The hooch on the right is darker because I added the grated quince to an empty jar. That gave the quince time to oxidize and turn brown before I added the vodka. For the hooch on the left, I first added the vodka, sugar, and spices to the jar, then the grated quince as soon as I grated it. It’s been a couple of hours now and the one on the left is still lighter, but I do expect it to turn brown ultimately. We’ll see.

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Happy New Year!

And I say good riddance to 2009 as well.

Here’s what I’ll be doing tonight:

Homemade liqueurs in glass jars

Homemade Hooches

My sister is a fellow homemade hoochaholic. Over the holiday we swapped, so now I have–in order of preference: strawberry (hers), quince (mine), pomegranate (hers), and apricot (mine). Yum!

And a belated Merry Christmas to all from Mr. Pickle!

Pickle with antlers on

I look ridiculous, therefore it must be a holiday.

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Filed under liqueurs, Pickle, quince, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Menu Planner

We will be hosting our vegan pal RCMB again for Thanksgiving this year, as well as another friend who has some food restrictions. Between the three of us, it should be quite a challenge. But, I’m up for it!

I was looking at last year’s menu and recalling what I liked and what I didn’t. Those cocktails sure were good, so I made up another batch of quince liqueur yesterday so that it will be ready for My Big Fat Turkey Thursday. I really appeciate Bon Appetit’s automated Thanksgiving menu planner thingy. Check it out.

I also got Barbara Ghazarian’s fantastic new quince cookbook and have spent many a recent evening studying it. I bought twelve pounds of quinces this year and plan to use every last ounce of them. I have to say it’s exciting to know another person out there shares my weird quince obsession.

I have no pictures this week. I realize that photographs keep me from posting more because my laptop is barely hanging on at this point and dealing with photos is just too time-consuming and insanity-producing. So until I get a new one (which should be next month), I’m just going to have to post without pics. Hope you can deal with that.

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Get Some New Material!

My apologies, dear readers. I have been out of town visiting family and eating hard. Here are some of the best things I ate/drank over the holidays:

  • My sister’s homemade pomegranate liqueur (hopefully she’ll be sending me the recipe very soon)
  • A mango mojito at The Owl Tree in San Francisco
  • My mom’s rocky road (this is not her recipe, but it looks like a good one)
  • A friend’s membrillo
  • Chocolates from DL

Did I die of sugar intake? Almost. But alas, I have lived to tell about it.

This is important because it was part of Dr. Science’s ongoing sugar experiments. Yes, my dears, I completed some well designed studies using myself as the little mouse. Results? The Rash does not like sugar. Good to know!

Here are some of my favorite photos from vacation:

Getting the holidays started off right...

Getting the holidays started off right...

The Jennings girls and The Man obsess over a really bad Thomas Kinkade puzzle

The Jennings women and The Man obsess over a really bad Thomas Kinkade puzzle

Cooking on the camp stove 200 feet below sea level in Death Valley

Cooking on the camp stove 200 feet below sea level in Death Valley

The amazing ovens and stove at Scotty's Castle, Death Valley

The amazing ovens and stove at Scotty's Castle, Death Valley


Filed under quince, Uncategorized