Do you know what the secret to being a good cook is? It’s the sauce. You could grill chicken perfectly all day long and people wouldn’t even remember it. A walnut rose cream sauce turns that chicken into a romance, Yuzu Jalapeno Mojo turns it into a party and Preserved Lemon and Garlic makes it medicine. Enough about chicken. When you are an average baker, like myself, and want people to think you are the next best thing to NigellaLawson, like I do, your baking comes with homemade jam. Nothing seems dry with a lavish dollop of preserves, or bland with a slanthering of conficture. Fruit Preserves are fairly easy to make, but be warned they do take time a healthy patience.
Quince? Seriously, I’m bringing it back. When was the last time you heard someone say Quince, they either had the bubonic plague or you were at a still life exhibit at a Renaissance Gallery. But I am on a personal mission to make it cool again, quince and bingo. PS – you say it quince, like wince, not like fifteen in Spanish. Come on California.
Quince is a ladylike fruit, it is delicate and floral. Take a minute and appreciate it. My favorite thing about Quince is the color. Stunning right? I have a purse this color and really really want/need a teeny settee this color. Even though I would take a settee in luscious saffron yellow, let me know if you find one.
So you went to your local farmer’s market, or the fall of 1556, and bought some precious little quince, after you take a few pictures posing with them and your new red lipstick you’re going to have to peel and grate them. After you peel the quince cut them in half by the width and take out the seeds. Save the seeds and some of the peel in a cheesecloth bag. Stuff the spices in the cheese cloth too. You will notice that quince is similar to an apple in texture but a little mealier and kind of sticky. That is because quince has a ton of natural pectin. Having lots of natural pectin is important for two reasons, first because it will jam up on its own and you don’t need to add gelatin and second you can’t eat it raw. So Don't try, its gross, promise. Also the fruit once its hits the air it will start to turn colors, that’s okay. Place the grated in a sauce pan with 4 cups cold water, 4 cups sugar and the filled cheesecloth bag. Boil until the fruit is tender, which takes about 40 minutes. Strain this mess through a sieve collecting the liquid. Bring the liquid to a full boil for two minutes. Add the fruit and cheese cloth bag back and let boil for another 5 minutes. Now take the pot off of heat and let the mixture set, for about 3 ½ hours. I told you you would have to be patient. This isn’t a quince drive through. Once it has set, stir in ¼ cup lemon juice and a splash of rosewater, bring it back to a boil until your candy thermometer reads 222°, this will take about 30 minutes. Ladle it into jars and store in a cool place.
2 Quince (Quinces, what's the plural??Quinci?)
4 Cups Cold Water
4 Cups Sugar
2 Lemon's Juice
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves
These preserves would make a great addition to your SuperFancy Cheese Plate; remember how I told you to always add something homemade, well there you go. It would also go well in a gourmet gift basket, with lavender fennel salt, or Mexican hot chocolate ganache. It would also go well with some muffins or scones next time you have the girls over for a tea party or on top of yogurt and granola for a sassy breakfast in bed.