In the Garden in Yorkshire there are some Asian Quince growing along the garden railings. They were planted for their decorative flowers and we did not think that the fruit could be consumed. Then I stumbled on an article in the BBC Gardening Magazine that said the fruit is edible. So we decided to make a delicious quince jelly to accompany cheese.
Over the last few days England has been experiencing a bit of an “Indian Summer” but this has been followed by high winds. This produced a bountiful supply of windfall quince so rather than picking the fruit it was just a case of collecting it from the ground.
The fruit was washed thoroughly.
Then cut in half .
Place the fruit in a large stock pot with plenty of sugar then add water to about half way up the pile of fruit.
Heat (covered) over a low flame or in a low oven (we used the bottom oven in the Aga) until the fruit is completely softened.
Once ready the fruit will crush easily with the back of a spoon.
Turn the fruit out into a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl (you don’t want to lose any of the precious juice).
Use a spoon to pass the pulp through the sieve.
You will be left with an amber liquid. I found the Asian Quince to be very tart and so at this stage I added a little more sugar.
On the stove, reduce the liquid down until it thickens to a gel.
You can test the consistency by smearing some of the gel onto a plate. Just take care, as mix of fruit and sugar is extremely hot and even a little splash could give you a nasty burn.
Line a tray with plastic wrap and then pour in the reduced gel. Allow to cool, then place in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.
Once the gel is fully set, turn it out and remove the plastic wrap.
Slice the gel
Serve with cheese.
This quince gel is slightly more tart than normal which works very well with strong harder cheeses. We found it was excellent with a matured cheddar, but I am sure it will also make an excellent contrast to a rich creamy brie or similar soft cheese.