One recipe that delivers two treats - use the syrup to make a crystal-clear ruby Quince Jelly and the quinces to make a melt-in-the-mouth Quince Paste to enjoy with cheese.
|2 ½ kgs||Sugar, plus an extra 4 cups for the paste|
|8 medium||Quinces, 2.5-3kg|
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Bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar (15 minutes). Wash the whole quinces, removing any fuzz, and add them to the syrup. Simmer until mixture turns deep, dark red (about 80 minutes), turning fruit now and then so it cooks evenly.
To make the quince jelly
Carefully lift fruit from syrup and set aside to make Quince Paste. To test whether the syrup is ready to form a jelly, drop a spoonful on to a chilled saucer and allow to cool for a few seconds. The surface should set - push it with your fingertip; if it wrinkles up, it's ready. If not, simmer a further 10-15 minutes then retest. Pour into sterilised, warm jars and seal tightly while still hot.
To make the quince paste
Allow the reserved cooked quinces to cool before removing and discarding the cores. Puree the flesh then measure the puree. For every cup of puree stir in ½ cup sugar. Preheat oven to 50C fanbake and line 2 sponge roll tins or a large roasting dish with baking paper. Transfer the puree to prepared tins and spread evenly - it should be about 3-4cm thick. Bake until firm enough to slice (24-30 hours depending on thickness of puree). Cool, slice and store in a jar of caster sugar in a cool place.
More Autumn preserves from Annabel
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