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Fruit cookery classes quinces Christine McFfadden
Fruit cookery quinces Christine McFadden Southwest
Quince Membrillo recipe Christine McFadden cookery Southwest

Spiced Roast Quince with Honey and Clotted Cream

This is one of the best ways of cooking quinces – roasted in fragrant buttery syrup until beginning to caramelise round the edges.
Serves 4

quinces 3, about 250g each
sugar 100g, plus 1 tbsp
cinnamon sticks 2
mace blades 2 (or ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg)
water 600ml
butter 25g
salt a pinch
to serve:
clotted cream
clear honey

1) Quarter and core the quinces, reserving the cores and pips. Cut the quarters in half lengthways then remove and reserve the peel. Place the quinces cored side up in a single layer in a 2-litre baking dish. Preheat the oven to
180°C/gas 4.

2) Put the cores, pips and peel into a saucepan with the 100g of sugar, the cinnamon and mace. Pour in the water and bring to the boil. Simmer briskly
for 20 minutes until syrupy. Strain through a sieve and pour the liquid over
the quinces.

3) Dot with the butter, then sprinkle with the tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or more or until the quinces are soft and blackened round the edges. Stir after 30 minutes to keep the quinces bathed in syrup. Stir again once they start to blacken.

4) Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with the juices and a dollop of clotted cream and a trickle of honey.

Recipe © Christine McFadden from The Farm Shop Cookbook published by
Absolute Press/Bloomsbury

 

Japonica Jelly

I made this with an unexpected crop of small japonica quinces growing against a sunny wall of my house. You could use normal quinces if you prefer, but you'll need to cut them into small chunks. The weight of fruit doesn't really matter. Just measure the juice after step 3, then add an equal amount of sugar.
I spiced up the jelly with pink peppercorns. Their slightly resinous flavour and mild heat go well with quinces, and the colour is a perfect match. Sichuan peppercorns might be good too.

japonica quinces
sugar
lemon juice
pink peppercorns (optional)

1) Halve the japonica quinces lengthways and put in a large saucepan. (No need to remove the peel or cores.) Cover with water, bring to the boil, then simmer for about 40 minutes or until the fruit is soft. This will take longer if you are using ordinary quinces.

2) Dampen a jelly bag and suspend it over a large bowl, making sure the bottom of the bag is well clear of the bowl.

3) Tip the quinces and their liquid into the bag. Leave to drip, undisturbed, for about 8 hours. Don't squeeze the bag or your jelly will be cloudy.

4) Measure the liquid and pour it into a large saucepan. Add an equal amount of sugar e.g. if you have 800 millilitres of juice, add 800 grams of sugar. Add a good squirt of lemon juice and about 2 tablespoons of pink peppercorns per litre of juice.

5) Stir with a wooden spoon over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly until set – 105°C on a sugar thermometer, or until a teaspoonful wrinkles when dropped onto a chilled plate.

6) Skim off the froth with a large metal spoon. Pour into warm sterilized jars, then seal and cover. Store in a cool place.

Recipe © Christine McFadden 2016

 

Membrillo

The beauty of this recipe is that there is no need to peel or core the quinces. Just wash them well to remove any of the natural grey fluff.

ripe fragrant quinces 1–2 kg
water
sugar

1) Roughly chop the quinces and put in a saucepan with just enough water to barely cover.

2) Cook for an hour or so or until soft, then leave in the pan overnight.

3) Push through a sieve, weigh the resulting pulp and tip back into the pan. Add an equal weight of sugar and stir over gentle heat until dissolved.

4) Simmer gently for an hour or more until you can see the bottom of the pan when you pass the spoon through the mixture.

5) Pour into shallow plastic containers and leave to cool. Cover the surface with greaseproof paper, then seal and store in the fridge.

    Photography: Cristian Barnett, Christine McFadden, Scott Morrison    
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