JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quince liqueur
























The distinctive and heady scent of quince transports me instantly to childhood and my grandmother's kitchen in 1950s Oxford. She used to make a delicious jam from fruit given to her by a neighbour, and it was a long job cutting the hard fruit into tiny cubes.

We have a quince in our garden, planted about 25 years ago by my mother-in-law, who used to put a few slices of poached quince into her stewed apple, rather in the way you might add a couple of cloves.

I make quince jam and jelly regularly, and this year, for the first time, I'm making quince liqueur - not to drink (although it's perfectly drinkable), but to use in my cooking throughout next year. It was a quick job, thanks to the Magimix, which made very short work of grating the fruit. I used Jane Grigson's recipe from her Fruit Book.

Quince liqueur

a one-litre preserving jar
3 quinces
60g caster sugar
about 600 ml vodka

Wipe the fluff from the quince with a dry cloth. Cut them in half so that they will fit into the feeder tube of the Magimix. Grate - yes, really, the whole fruit, skin, pips and all. The scented fruit will more or less fill your jar. Add the sugar, then the vodka, making sure that all the fruit is covered. Seal. Put in a dark place for a couple of months - there's no need to turn it.

This will need straining in December or January, at which point more sugar could be added. And then it will add a useful flavouring note to savoury as well as sweet dishes; quince is not only distinctive, it is also very strong - one quince on the kitchen table can scent a whole house.

18 comments:

GBVC said...

Joanna
There is I think a quince tree down the road in central London where I live. The fruit fall off the tree and rot. I am going to change that - thanks for the inspiration.
Charlotte

Magic Cochin said...

A mature quince tree in your garden - lucky you!
Last March there was a 3 for 2 offer on quinces in Waitrose so I bought 3. They weren't as perfumed as they should have been (imported?) and they sat around for a while until I found Hannah had posted a recipe for Quince Brandy (http://hannahscountrykitchen.blogspot.com/2007/03/quinces-are-such-lovely-things-i-cant.html)

The resulting liqueur has a spicy fruitiness - and reminded me of the Czech drink Becherovka (http://www.becherovka.cz/en/).

If I get my hands on a quince I'll try Jane Grigson's version without the spices. JG's Fruit Book and Vegetable Book are my kitchen bibles.

Celia

Figs Olives Wine said...

Gorgeous recipe here, Joanna! Something I'd really love to try as an autumny counterpart to my cassis. No quinces here yet - just the scentless ones in the supermarket. I shall be on the look out though!

Riana said...

my mother in laws neighbors never harvest their quince either, so now I do it for them. I love quince jelly. So pretty too.

Joanna said...

SO glad you're all rescuing quinces from rotting - they are, I think, the very best that autumn provides. Quince brandy sounds worth following up, and I'm going to make jam using Magi-grated pulp, rather than the laboriously chopped cubes my grandmother used to make

Cottage Smallholder said...

This sounds an excellent addition to any liqueur makers battery. Thanks for sharing, I am definitely going to make this one.

Tartelette said...

I wish I had seen this recipe last week when I still had 3 quinces left. Now I am going to break the bank to get more and make it. Sounds fabulous!

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

I'm on to it but please how do I make the Vodka?

Sherry said...

Hello,

Last year an co-worker gave me a bag of lovely homegrown quinces (they were far superior to any store bought ones). Does anyone know of a tree in London that I can get a bag of them off of? I can trade lovely wild Granny Smith apples.

Joanna said...

Hi Sherry, great present ... my tree produces in autumn - remind me then, and I'd do a swap with you if we could find somewhere convenient to meet

Joanna

Sherry said...

Hello,

Woke up Monday morning and felt that end of summer chill. I suppose its time to sort out a meet-up if that is still ok. I would rather not post all my contact info online though, is there a way around that?

Thanks
-Sherry-

Joanna said...

Sherry, It will have to be next year, as this year's crop is virtually nil. This is probably a good time to try to buy quince in a Turkish or Cypriot shop ...

Joanna

sherry said...

Terribly sorry to hear...I shall give the shops a go.

Thanks for all your help
-Sherry-

casalba said...

Thanks for passing by my site. This is a MUST for next year.

I'm going to add a link on the post, if that's OK.

Sherry said...

Hello,

It is fall again (nearly) and I was wondering if there was a chance of trading you some produce from my garden for some quinces.

Many thanks
-Sherry-

Joanna said...

Sherry ... the crop is looking better this year, although there's a storm raging at the moment, and that may not be good news for the quince. But at the moment, there's no way for me to get in touch ...

Joanna

Sherry said...

is there a secure way for me to leave information? I dont really want to leave contact info on the web

Joanna said...

Sherry, you should find contact informatio n under my profile, but you can find me at

joannacary AT ukonline DOT co DOT uk

Joanna