Recipe: What to Make with Quinces – Make Quince Syrup, Molasses, Vinegar, Quince Honey, Paste and Leather

Ah, the scent of quinces when you take them out of the bag! Quinces typify Mid to Late Autumn and Early Winter. They are sometimes around also in Early Spring too, but these have been kept over Winter.  They are good keepers!

For years we slow poached quinces with spices in the oven, and froze batches to last us through the winter. We made Quince Jam/Jelly, and just occasionally Quince Paste. But we now have a great friend with quince trees, so each year there is an abundant supply. We have taken to regularly making Quince Paste, Syrup, Vinegar, Molasses and Honey. Here are our recipes for you.

The quince was sacred to Venus and Aphrodite as it was once a symbol of love, happiness and fertility in Greek and Roman times. From a tree with pale pink blossoms, the fruit is so aromatic. When cooked, it has the most interesting and wonderful flavour and a slightly grainy texture. The pectin in the fruit means that it makes the best jelly.

When raw, the quinces are bright green, but they mellow to yellow as they ripen (and that wonderful scent develops). They are tough fruit with a hard skin, but they damage easily. They will keep for months if carefully handled, but Quince Jelly is best made with fresh fruit.

The fruit is often covered with a fine down. Rinse this off before peeling or cutting quinces. Be careful as you cut as the flesh is quite hard. It will also brown quickly so drop the cut fruit into acidulated water.  As the fruit cooks, it turns firstly a delicious pink-red, and with longer, slow cooking it turns a deep ruby red.

You might also like Spiced Quinces and  Indian Quince Pickle. Enjoy!

Please also have a look at our Autumn Preserving suggestions and Winter Preserving suggestions. Or simply browse our Early Winter recipes.

 

Quince Syrup | Sharbat-E Beh Limou

ingredients
2 large quinces, about 1 kg
3 – 4 cups sugar
4 cups Water
0.5 cup lemon or lime juice

method
Quarter the quinces and remove the seeds and core, but do not peel. Cut the quarters into small pieces and put through a juicer. Collect the juice and discard the pulp.

Bring the sugar and water to the boil, and add the strained lemon/lime juice and the quince juice. Simmer until the mixture thickens a little, about 30 minutes.  The juice will start off green-yellow in colour and turn a bright red as it cooks.

Cool, and pour into a clean dry bottle with cap, stopper or cork. Store in the refrigerator.

To use, mix 1 part syrup with 3 – 4 parts water, soda or sparkling water. Serve chilled over ice.

Quince Syrup

Quince Jam or Jelly

One way to make quince jam is to use the recipe for Quince Syrup, and continue boiling until setting point is reached.

See here for another recipe.

Quince Jelly

Quince Toffee

If you take the above recipes too far (ie cook for too long) they will form a toffee. If this your aim, take to the stage of soft toffee, rather than rock hard toffee that is bound to damage your teeth!

Quince Toffee

Quince Molasses

ingredients
1 or 2 large quinces
0.25 cups sugar
1 – 1.5 Tblspn lemon or lime juice

method
Quarter the quinces and remove the seeds and core, but do not peel. Cut the quarters into small pieces and put through a juicer. Collect the juice – you will need about 1 cup – and discard the pulp.

Mix the quince  juice with up to 0.25 cups sugar and lemon or lime juice. This will create a nice semi-sweet molasses. Add less sugar and more lemon juice if you like yours more tart, or more sugar if you want a sweeter molasses.

Using a medium saucepan, stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat to medium.

Simmer for 20 minutes or until the mixture is syrupy and has reduced to around 1/4 cup. Set aside to cool. The juice will start off green-yellow in colour and turn a bright red as it cooks.

Keep in the fridge in an airtight jar.

Use in salads, over steamed, roasted or baked vegetables, with fresh mozzarella cheese, in sandwiches, etc.

Quince Molasses

Quince Vinegar

Take 2 cups of shredded or cubed raw quince. Place into a sterilised jar and cover with 4 cups of white wine vinegar or enough to cover the quince. You can make half quantities or split between 2 jars. Screw the lid on tightly.

Place the jar in a sunny window for 14 days.

Using cheesecloth in a strainer over a bow, strain the vinegar and discard the quince. Pour the vinegar into sterilised bottles or jars and keep in a cool, dark place (or in the fridge) for up to 6 months.

Makes about 2 cups.

Use in Salad Dressings.

Quince Vinegar

Quince Honey

ingredients
1 large quince
honey (raw honey is the best, but any honey that is not strongly flavoured will work well)

Quarter the quinces and remove the seeds and core, but do not peel. Cut the quarters into small pieces and put through a juicer. Collect the juice – you will need about 1 cup – and discard the pulp.

Put the juice into a jar and fill the jar with honey. Mix well. Leave the jar on the kitchen counter for 7 – 14 days, stirring daily, and then place the jar in the fridge.

Take a spoon of honey each day in winter to ward off colds. A spoonful in hot water makes a great winter time hot drink. Use in Salad Dressings.

Quince Honey

Quince Paste

See our recipe for Quince Paste here.

Quince Paste

Quince Leather

Quince Leather is easy to make if you have a dehydrator. If not, dry in the sunshine, or in a very low oven.

Cook some quinces, peeled and cored, in a little water. Blend well with sugar and lemon juice. Heat until sugar is dissolved and is thick enough to layer onto trays, and lay then thinly onto silpat or other dehydrator trays. Dry for about 6 hours. It will be firm but still a little sticky. Cut with a scissors and roll. Store in airtight containers.

Use about 0.25 cup sugar per cup puree. Use enough lemon to give a slight tang. Remember that flavours will intensify as it dries – it will become sweeter and the lemon tang will increase slightly.

Spices can be added as the quinces cook – cinnamon sticks, star anise, chilli, pepper, etc.

Quince Leather

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