So it’s quince season over here. A fleeting time when I never make enough of my quince relish to last until the next season which this year I have sought to rectify.
But after peeling and coring and chopping finely about four kilos of quinces I was calling it quits. I figured 11 jars would be enough so long as I wasn’t overly generous with handing out jars of this precious condiment. (It’s sublime with cheese – far nicer than quince paste – and delicious with lamb or any meat for that matter.)
Then Chef asked me if I had a quince jam recipe. I found one in my Country Show Cookbook and figured that not having to peel or core the quinces until they were partially cooked I would give it a go.
Now, not being a big fan of quinces in a sweetened dessert form I was not holding much hope for me enjoying it but MAN OH MAN it is freakin’ delicious. Smear it on some buttered toast and I defy anyone to not eat the lot. I did also use a jar of it on some lamb shoulders I slow roasted for about 7 hours yesterday and again, superb.
The Country Show Cookbook
- Lemon juice
- Place the quinces in a saucepan in which they all fit and cover with water
- Bring to the boil and simmer until the quinces are quite soft
- Keep the water, remove the quinces and peel and core them (granted this is fiddly because there are those weird grainy bits around the core and you have to get it all out but hey, it’s a hell of a lot easier when they’re soft than raw)
- Put all the cores and skin (some of the skin just pulls away as a very thin film, some of it is harder, just deal with accordingly) back in the water, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, chop up the quinces
- Strain all the cores and stuff from the water and then combine the water and chopped up quinces
- Measure the cups of quinces into a pan then add the same number of cups of sugar
- Slowly bring to the boil (ensuring the sugar is dissolved before you get to boiling point)
- Boil until it reaches setting point
- The lemon juice is optional – add about five minutes before end of cooking time
- Pour into sterilised jars and savour throughout the long non-quince season.