An Abundance of Quinces…

Quince Jam

Quince Jam

They dined on mince, and slices of quince

Which they ate with a runcible spoon;

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,

They danced in the light of the moon

– “The Owl and the Pussycat” Edward Lear

Quince is a fruit that I had always heard about but never really had a clue what exactly they are.   Then a few weeks ago, when visiting a friend’s farm, we gathered a bag full of ripe quinces.  They are a cross between a pear and an apple with a gorgeous scent – the car smelled of quince for days after the trip home.

Now, what does one do with a big bag of ripe quinces?  If you’re me, you make quince jam.  Actually, you start out trying to make quince paste but when there isn’t enough pectin to set the paste, beautiful quince jam is the outcome…

After coring, peeling and chopping the quinces, I boiled them for about an hour until they were tender (and the fruit turned a lovely deep pink shade).  Then I pureed them in the food processor, returned the puree to the pot, added an equal amount of sugar and some lemon juice and let the mixture boil for a few hours, stirring frequently, until thickened.

To make the paste, you are then supposed to bake in a greased pan for about 4 hours in a low oven.  I tried this and only the top of the paste set.  Only after this happened did I realize that I obviously didn’t have enough pectin in the mix so will make sure to add this next fall when I get my next batch of quinces….

And now I have an abundance of quince jam in the freezer and I am looking forward to using it in many ways:

– Spread on naan bread, top with grated asiago and after a few minutes under the broiler, it makes an easy tasty appetizer

– Slather on slabs of bread and bake in a custard for a yummy bread pudding dessert

– Use as part of a marinade with pork loin

– Simply enjoy spread on toast

Oh….the list could go on…

If you are familiar with quince, what’s your favourite way to enjoy them?


About kate magee

I am a lifelong foodie who lives in Toronto and spends much too much of my time thinking, preparing, eating and writing about food...
This entry was posted in Cooking, Fruit and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to An Abundance of Quinces…

  1. fransiweinstein says:

    What would you have done with the quince paste?

  2. Liz says:

    I would love to try this if I can lay my hands on some quince. It sounds delicious! thanks for sharing!

    • kate magee says:

      Hi Liz – thanks for the comment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen quince in the market (either in Toronto or Vancouver) but then again, I wouldn’t have known what I was looking at 🙂 Let me know if you are successful in finding them… Kate

  3. Hilda says:

    I agree quince paste is probably the place to start. I also roast it in the oven, with a little sugar and oil as a vegetable dish for Thanksgiving. I did find it in Toronto at a little convenience store. Even the owners didn’t know what to do with it, except to put it aside for me and one other client who were the only ones interested. I think once there is a demand, someone will supply it. I also use Japanese quinces when I can’t find the others.

  4. Yum, this looks beautiful. I lve quinces, especially the way they smell.

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