The Kenwood Press|
You know it’s fall when you see quince in the market. It’s the beautiful yellow/green fruit that looks like a pear, but is hard as a rock. If you bit into it, you might lose a tooth. Quince is one of those fruits that you find yourself attracted to because of its beautiful shape, color or floral scent, but rarely know what to do with. It is the only fruit of its kind in its genus, but resembles an apple or pear, as it has a core like theirs. I picked a basket full from my two bushes and found myself spending the better part of a weekend cooking them so that I could give gifts and store their bounty for the winter. It is a process worth the trouble when you see and taste the results.
9 x 12 baking dish
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
With a cloth, rub down the quince fruit and take off all of the down on the skin. Place into a baking dish and cover with a lid or tin foil. Do not add any water. Cover and place in the low-temperature oven for four hours or until the fruit is easily pierced with a knife. Quarter and core the fruit, removing any blemishes. Put through a food mill (chinoise) using the biggest disk. (This would be a good time to buy one if you don’t have one)
Weigh the pulp and add pound (1 cups) of sugar to every pound of pulp. Cook in a preserving kettle over medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spatula until the mixture is rich in color and it stops running together again when the spatula is drawn through.
Line the loaf pan with parchment paper, fill with the paste and leave overnight to get quite cold.
The following day, dry out the pan of paste in the oven at 200 degrees for about 4 hours or until quite firm. Check to see if the paste is ready by lifting a corner. It should be solid all the way through. When the paste has cooled, cut into four strips, wrap in parchment and store in an airtight container. It will keep for about four months, but is best eaten when freshly made, cut into one-inch squares.
Recipe from Ballmaloe Seasons by Darina Allen.