Festive Foodie gift for TV3 ‘Thriftmas’ special 3 December 2013
I grew up with quinces on our citrus farm in South Africa where my mom would turn them into delicious, fragrant preserves. A raw quince is a lumpy, yellow fruit that looks something like a misshapen pear with flesh like a super hard apple. You would never believe that it could be transformed into such a delectable jelly, ideal as a festive foodie gift to serve with a cheeseboard. Raw quinces are inedible, but cooked they yield a delicately aromatic juice with a unique rosy colour. Quinces are naturally high in pectin, so you won’t need to add pectin in order to get a good jell from the juice. Note that the wonderful blush colour of the jelly won’t develop until the final stages of cooking.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Straining time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
Makes: 4 jars
6 large quinces
7 cups water
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Wash the quinces and cut off the stem ends. Leave the peels on. Core the fruit by chopping around the cores. Compost or discard the stems and cores. Chop the fruit into large chunks, 6 – 8 pieces per quince.
- Place the quince in a large pot. Pour in the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the fruit is mushy-soft, about 1 hour.
- Mash the cooked quince with a potato masher. If the mashed fruit is on the dry side, add a little more water. You want a consistency like a soupy applesauce.
- Place a colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth (I use new J Cloths) or a very finely meshed strainer, over a large bowl or pot. Ladle the runny quince mash into the strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander. Leave it for 2 hours. Save the mash to make quince paste.
- You should end up with at least 4 cups of juice. If you aren’t getting much juice, stir a little more water into the mash in the cheesecloth-lined colander or the strainer (do not add the water directly to the strained juice or it will be too diluted).
- Sterilise the canning jars in boiling water then dry in a 150′C oven for 10 minutes.
- While the jars are sterilizing, measure the juice. Measure out equal quantities of sugar and pour into a large pot.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir constantly at first until the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue cooking at it reaches 105′C. It should be turning a gorgeous rosy colour. I cook it a little over to ensure a deep colour.
- Skim off the white foam on top.
- Ladle into sterilised canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Screw on canning lids.
- If you’re new to jelly making, remember that the jelly will still be completely liquid when the jars come out of the boiling water bath. The jelly will jell as it cools.
Pickles, Preserves and Fermented Foods Masterclass
For more information email email@example.com
Date: Full day March 2014
Time: 10:30am till 4pm
Venue: Miele Gallery, 2024 Bianconi Avenue, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24
This one day workshop covers the ancient art of pickling, fermenting and preserving foods. These preserves are a wonderful foodie gift, are very satisfying to make and also have numerous health benefits. Learn traditional fermented recipes like sauerkraut and kefir so that you can enjoy these super foods at home. Pickled fennel with star anise, kimchi, Sriracha pickles, quince jelly and spicy chutneys are just some of the many recipes covered. The class includes a full recipe folder, lunch and some preserves to bring home.