It's quince time again, the fruit filling the kitchen with it's wonderful, incredible aroma. "Oh For a Quince Tree" I wrote last year... yet still have not planted one. Autumn is when I lament this fact, but blessed to have friends like Naomi and Pete who live in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia and share from their one tree. You can see on the blog link above how the fruit glows from N & P's dining room window. Why this tree is rarely available and little grown on Canada's east coast is beyond me. Most of Canada's early settlers knew the rich pectin and flavour made jelly and jams set. I found out by mistake, much pectin is in the seeds so don't cut the core out if you want 'the jell effect'. Tangled Garden in Wolfville, has three Quince trees on the property so I would suggest late October to early November the best time to see the fine specimens glowing in autumn's low light. There is a nominal fee to enter the garden; don't miss stocking up on jelly for the coming holidays.
My favourite recipe for using quince is the one mentioned in the blog post last year, because from that point, put in jars, the fruit is ready for anything including cake making and sauces not to mention using hunks of it on bread or pancakes. Basically the recipe advises roasting individual quince in foil, lined up like soldiers until you can just get a fork in. Peel and cut up the next day (leaving the core as its done it's job) if you are fed up with quince by then which I usually am! Then pour over a simple syrup with orange juice and slivered peel baking to a 'treacly state' so says Sarah Raven in her book...Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook. (There is a Canajan version re measurements.)
So here's my lot roasted and cut up the next day ready to go into the oven with the syrup mixed in. I know, it doesn't look that appetising. I added six cloves as well.
Then it was on to the baking and this is what came out about forty minutes later and just to say this is an untouched photo. It really does go this wonderful color...sticky and "treacly" as the chef and gardener states.
After that, it was into the Kilner jars. I also use jars that can be boiling water processed and others that are commercial jars and have the rubber inside the lid and don't have to be processed as long as there is keen attention to temperature and sanitation. These work great if you can find them at a local 'container/packaging' company. Mine was Richards in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Yes, it tastes as good as it looks!