Tuesday, July 5, 2016


The quinces started ripening in April. 
Quince jelly is one of my most favourite things so I had been waiting for the quinces to ripen.
I made several batches of quince jelly. I love how it changes colour as it cooks. The first big batch I also made quince paste from the pulp. When I know that I want to make quince paste I peel and core the quinces.

Quince Jelly
Peel and core quinces 
Chop into quarters and put in a pot and add just enough water to cover the quinces.
Add the juice of a lemon.
Bring to the boil and let simmer until the quinces are soft.
Strain fruit through some muslin or a jelly bag or a pillow case so you end up with the light amber liquid separated from the soft pulp of the quinces.
It helps if you can strain the liquid into a bowl with measurements on the side, otherwise work out how many cups of the liquid you have.
Bring the liquid back to the boil.
Add in the same number of cups of sugar as you had liquid and stir until dissolved.
Let it boil away until it reaches setting point of 105C or alternatively use the setting point measures of putting a little onto a cold saucer from the freezer and seeing if it sets by pushing it with your finger to see if it forms creases or when you run your finger through it it stays divided.
Once it has reached the setting point (it is usually quite a red colour by then),  pour it into sterilised jars and seal.
 ( You can make some of this jelly for use in meat dishes but adding sprigs of thyme. I washed the thyme in boiling water and then dropped the sprigs into the jars before sealing.)

Quince Paste
Use a big pot, with plenty of room - with the cooked quince, weigh how much you have and add that much sugar and the juice of a lemon. Stir it in.
Put over a low heat and keep stirring it until all the sugar has dissolved.
Then simmer it gently. You have to be careful that it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pot and also beware of it firing hot, molten lumps out of the pot. 
It will gradually change colour. Don’t be tempted to speed it up by turning up the heat as it just sticks and burns. Keep stirring intermittently to make sure it hasn’t stuck to the bottom.
After about 1, 1/2 to 2 hours it should be done which you can tell by when you draw the spoon across the pot, for a moment you can see the bottom.
Tip into baking paper lined tins and leave out to set or you can put it in the oven on a really low heat such as 40C to set.
It should be set over night.

I wrap it in the baking paper and keep storing it in the fridge. Others say you can store it in the cupboard but I haven’t tried that.

Another use of quinces we tried was peeling, quartering and adding to the slow cooker. I covered them with enough water so that they would not go brown and added brown sugar as much as I felt would be nice. I set it on low overnight. By the morning we had soft, sweet quinces to have on our breakfast.
We also made spiced quinces that are currently preserved ready to go in a savoury dish. 
You can make these in the slow cooker too or on the stove top. I peeled and cored quinces. put enough water in the pot to cover the quinces. To the water I add one sliced lemon, 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon quill, 4 green cardamon pods and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. This simmered away until the quinces were red and soft.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.