Monday, 9 November 2009

Quince, crab apples & medlars

Quince, meddlars and crab apples

Crab apple jelly

Quince & rosewater syrup

In much the same way as I madly preserve the last of the summer fruits, I have done the same as the last of the Autumn fruits begin to make their exit for another year. I have particularly enjoyed the old fashioned English fruits, crab apples, meddlars and the blessed quince.

Quince is my favourite. A member of the rose family, an old fashioned English fruit which can be hard to get hold of, although good old Waitrose sells them (so I'm told), of course the utterly dependable Tony Booth of Borough will have them at this time of year. And English ones at that. The more commonly available Greek and Turkish are indeed beautiful, but there is something very romantic about English quince. A delicate pink hue with a heady perfume, you can almost smell the roses.

I made a quince syrup to which I added some rose water, for an extra fragrant tone. With a nod to its Western Asian origins I would imagine some star anise and cinnamon working really well. Note to self: must pick up some more blessed quince at Booths.

.....And talking of the wonderful Tony Booth, I spent way too long smelling Tony Booth's white truffle stock last week. I ended up buying the smallest white truffle as I couldn't separate myself from its esoteric aroma. I placed the truffle with some eggs and enjoyed a truffle scented omelette.

Quince & Rosewater Syrup

1 kilo quince
1 kilo sugar
1 litre water
Some rosewater

Wash quince, quarter and take out very woody core. Chop up and add to water and sugar.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and bottle.

I would like to tell you that I used the quince for something, but did not. I think the way to go would be to peel the quince and add this to the mix and then use the quince flesh afterwards for a puree, maybe the filling for a tart. Add some cream, egg and sugar mix. The colour would be amazing. I will try to make this, in my next practical with quinces.

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