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Archive for the ‘quince’ Category

We will be hosting our vegan pal RCMB again for Thanksgiving this year, as well as another friend who has some food restrictions. Between the three of us, it should be quite a challenge. But, I’m up for it!

I was looking at last year’s menu and recalling what I liked and what I didn’t. Those cocktails sure were good, so I made up another batch of quince liqueur yesterday so that it will be ready for My Big Fat Turkey Thursday. I really appeciate Bon Appetit’s automated Thanksgiving menu planner thingy. Check it out.

I also got Barbara Ghazarian’s fantastic new quince cookbook and have spent many a recent evening studying it. I bought twelve pounds of quinces this year and plan to use every last ounce of them. I have to say it’s exciting to know another person out there shares my weird quince obsession.

I have no pictures this week. I realize that photographs keep me from posting more because my laptop is barely hanging on at this point and dealing with photos is just too time-consuming and insanity-producing. So until I get a new one (which should be next month), I’m just going to have to post without pics. Hope you can deal with that.

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My New Blavatar: Quince

WordPress has a groovy new feature: the blavatar/favicon. I posted mine today. In case you can’t tell what it is, it’s a quince, of course. And I’m very excited about it!

Also, they have this new snow feature. So look forward to it snowing on my blog throughout December.

Next I need some gingerbread xmas lights. WordPress needs to get on that.

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Ah…one is in the mood for singing show tunes, no? What a lovely day it is here at AFFFG. I read just about every newspaper known to womankind today and I have to say, I’m feeling pretty…yes, hopeful. There will be plenty of time for complaints, mistakes, regrets, and all the rest in the months to come. But for today, we must celebrate. With singing, and with quince, as you do!

Luscious

My Luscious Friends

I finally got around to making the quince paste. There is a very good read-a-long recipe here. If you have never made quince paste before, I highly recommend reading this as a starting point. It gives you an idea of the big picture and even includes how the author did not get the paste quite right and how she corrected the problem.

Which brings me to my point. After two years in a row of making quince paste, I have learned that it is a bit of an art. Last year my paste was basically fruit leather, just way too tough and gnarly. Also, the recipe I followed last year said to leave the seeds in when boiling up the quince initially. That is a mistake if you are then going to use the quince meat to make paste because it’s actually not fun to eat ground-up quince seeds in your soft, lovely quince paste. This year my paste is just a bit too mushy, but much more manageable and tasty. This year instead of sugar, I used honey, so that definitely changed the liquid content of the paste. Lessons learned.

There is a good recipe for quince jelly here. If you want to make your quince jelly with honey instead of sugar, I recommend 3/4 c of honey per every 1 c of quince juice, instead of the equal amounts juice and sugar that most recipes call for. I also used Pomona’s pectin this year because I did not want to stress about how the honey might change the liquid content of my jelly, blah blah. The jelly turned out fine, but not as clear and visually pretty as when I used sugar last year.

So, since there are already good recipes out there for quince jelly and quince paste, I figured I’d let you know about a little gem called quince juice. Yes, juice! Mmmmmm!

Basically, this is how you prepare to make quince jelly, but instead of using the quince juice to make the jelly, you simply sweeten the juice and drink it.

Quince Juice

makes about 4 cups

  1. Take 4 lbs of quince and chop them up into 1″ cubes, removing the seeds.
    choppedquince
  2. Put quince cubes in a big pot and just cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil and then simmer until quince are mushy. Mash them in the pot thusly:quincemashpot
  4. Strain the quince through cheesecloth for several hours or overnight (you can cover with a clean towel).quincestrain
  5. Put the quince meat aside to make paste later. You can freeze it if you won’t get around to pasting for a few days.
  6. Add agave syrup or sweetener of your choice to the remaining quince liquid. This is quince juice and it’s pretty darn tasty. In fact, it’s so good that I forgot to take a picture of it.

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Home sick from work today. Ate something last night that definitely did not agree with me. I hate being sick because I feel (and am), so unproductive. However, in between abusing my bathroom this afternoon, I did manage to make Ratafia de Coings, aka Quince Moonshine:

Quince Moonshine

Quince Moonshine

I’ll leave this as-is for a week, shaking it once or twice a day. Then, I’ll put it in the cupboard and shake it once a week. I’m hoping it’ll be done by Thanksgiving, but if not, I’ll have something to look forward to for New Year’s.

Next up, homemade calvados.

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Yes! We got our quinces Saturday. Here they are in the fruit bowl, all nine pounds of ’em (because last year, six pounds just wasn’t enough):

My favorite fruit

My favorite fruit

You will be hearing much, much more about this fascinating “old fashioned” fruit here at AFFFG in the weeks to come. For now, just know that I am a complete nutcase when it comes to quince: I was texting my best friend at every turn on Saturday: “Going to the farm to get the QUINCES,” “Okay, we just got the QUINCES,” “Going home now…the QUINCES are safely in their box in the back of the van. They smell fantastic! I’m in love!”

You know, I never thought I could feel this passionately about a fruit. If you had told me years ago that I would develop acute insanity about a fruit, I would have laughed and called YOU nuts. But look at me now. Quince crazy!

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