The fruit Quince takes me back to my childhood...I'm not sure why, and I don't recall my mother making Quince Jelly or Jam....or anything else from the fruit...I do remember them being untouchable....as in inedible off the tree....There are other fruit trees that take me back...like the Common Lemon with the bumpy skin, the Pomegranate (which is becoming popular again), and the Cactus Fruit....and Figs, Oh how I loved figs......
As a child I found myself drawn to the fruits that were inedible, I was amazed how they could be transformed into something delicious by cooking them.
I think more knowledge of these old fruits are disappearing.....something tells me that my mother used to cook them, but we were never offered the sweet preserves of the Quince....so I am not sure if they were cooked at home or not, but why would I be drawn to them otherwise....
Anyway, I have always been on the lookout for this untouchable fruit; the Quince....In the back of my mind, I just figured that they were not sold in shops and that being popular in my Nans generation...they had long gone.....
That was until I visited the new Fruit and Vegetable store in Kenny Street, in Wollongong the other day.....Low and behold, there they were, on display as if they were like any other fruit...but golden, and furry....not the prettiest looking fruit either...but that was them, that was the fruit I remembered from my childhood.
I just had to bring some home with me and see what all the fuss was about....After all, I don't remember ever tasting the fruit, with mum always telling me that they had to be cooked before you could eat them....
so here goes....today is the day!
Oh, I was up at the lovely Kitchen supplies shop, which I have been visiting on the weekends, and mentioned to the lady working there, that I love preserving and making jams...she gave me this book, and told me she is supposed to offer them to customers who buy the preserving jars....but because I am in there so often, she gave me one anyway....I didn't even buy the preserving jars, they are far too expensive...
Here is a picture of the front cover of my free book.....
|Quince conserve, I used this recipe as a guide.|
QUINCE & APPLE JAM
200 mls lemon juice
1 can of Pie Apple...(It was decided that as it wasn't thickening well, I would change the recipe from Quince Jam to Quince & Apple Jam)
Cut each quince into quarters then peel, core and cut into small cubes....Now the Quince does not like giving up its core...with the flesh being ever so hard around the core...so here is some advice on how to cut them up....This is the easiest way I found anyway......
|Halve, then quarter 1 Quince at a time, the fruit starts to oxidise as soon as it is cut, after cutting up, sprinkle some lemon juice over them, after adding more diced fruit, keep tossing in the lemon juice you have already added.|
|Once peeled, halve again (eighths), then place each segment on its side and using the bench as leverage, cut the core from the fruit and discard the core. Then dice the remaining fruit segments. Continue until all the fruit is cut up and cored.|
|Place fruit in large pan with 2 litres of water and Lemon Juice...bring to boil,|
then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
|After the hour, the fruit should be soft, |
I mashed it by pushing a whisk onto the wooden spoon, crushing the fruit.
I must say, I am impressed with this brand, Well done Aldi....Unlike the can you can get through the large supermarket chains, this one is cut into the finest of diced fruit....Very appealing for the finished product of a jam, or even a chutney.....I have only ever seen Pie Apple sliced...and its a very rough slice too.....This was cooked just right too....
|Aldi's Pie Apple ....a lovely small diced fruit.|
If it does, it is time to bottle it up, in hot, sterilised jars.
After labelling and allowing the jars to cool....I have put them in my preserve shelves.....this is where I keep all my preserves....each time family comes to visit, they get to choose and take home whatever they like....The same people used to go to Nan's preserves cupboard....Now she has passed, they come to me....I love keeping the tradition and the skills alive........
I really should get to labelling the rest of those preserves before I forget what they are.....These are all made within the last 8 months....Can you see that I cut more shelves to allow for more space. I love DIY and Power-tools..lol
|SHELVING FOR MY PRESERVES|
shelf #3: Comfrey Cream, Comfrey infused Oil, Quince & Apple Jam, Cooked Salsa Spread
shelf #4: Green Tomato Pickles, Bread N Butter Cucumber Pickles, Fig & Ginger Jam, Melon Relish, Cooked Salsa Spread
shelf #5: Plum Sauce, Green Tomato Pickles, Melon Relish, Fig & Ginger Jam, Tomato Sauce
shelf #6: Melon Pickles, Vanilla Port, Black Cherry Jam, Green Tomato Pickles
shelf #7: Tomato Chutney, Mushroom Ketchup
shelf #8: Plum Jam, Choc Bits, Preserved Lemon, Dehydrated Bananas, Brown Vinegar, Dehydrated Turnip slivers, Dehydrated Parsnips and behind them is Dehydrated Corn Kernels.
Shelf #9 is missing, but it has some jars of a Salad Salsa, some other bulk foods, and a basket of Spanish onions.
Sorry for those who will read this twice, but I am going to make this shelving its own post as well.