October 17, 2011

Quince: the perfect Zero Waste Fruit

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Open Garden Project, a weekly garden exchange. I love the concept. I brought a couple of jars of homemade pickles (one of the jars was that of the vinegar mother) and came home with quince fruit.

Cored whole quince

Ah Quince, the mystical fruit.

The woman who brought them to trade, had a full tree at home but did not know what to do with them. I was happy to take them off her hands and work on the delicacies my mom used to make for us. It's amazing how much you get out of the (whole) fruit and cannot bear keeping the following recipes from you;)

  • Wash and quarter the entire quince (I used 4 this time) Do not peel or core
  • Cover with water generously (the width of a couple fingers as my mom would say)
  • Cook until tender
  • Stain over a bowl and let stand for 12 hours
  • Weigh the strained juice and mix with equal amounts of sugar (putting aside the cooked quince for the recipe below)
  • Add the juice of a lemon (optional)
  • Cook until it gels
  • Pour into sterilized jars (my four quince yielded the 2 jars pictured).

Strained cooked quince

Quince jelly

  • Remove and compost the seeds from the above cooked quince
  • Weigh the cooked quince and mix with equal amounts of sugar
  • Blend using a hand blender
  • Cook until thick (scraping the bottom of your pan will leave a line in the paste)
  • Spread into plates (I used our picnic plates because they are deeper than my everyday ones)
  • Let dry for about a week, flipping them a couple of times
  • Cut and enjoy with Pecorino style cheese or roll in sugarfor a sweet treat
  • Store in air-tight containers.

Quince paste drying

Quince Paste rolled in sugar

Both make great presents.

What seasonal delicacy are you working on?