The Mighty Quince
This is one of two posts that are long over due as the wonderful desserts I made were enjoyed by myself, Hubbs, my sister and even my mail lady - a few weeks ago.
This is the first of two GIANT THANK YOU's!! from all of us =)
Part I - The Quince
Starting with some gorgeous quince that have an amazing aroma - oh dear lordie did my house smell WONDERFUL that week. =) My dear friend, Elle, of Feeding My Enthusiasms has a shrub on her property that produces this heavenly smelling fruit and she wrote a post about the quince jelly she made. I had an obvious question after reading the post - how does a yellowish fruit produce such a gorgeous dark pink jelly? Well - not only did she try to answer my question, but she offered to send me some so I could experience this fruit myself!
A normal pie for me.. mishapen, rips in the crust, smooshied edges - just picture perfect doncha think? Gah.
You may think I'm making this next part up - but I swear it's the truth.. I almost gave my mail lady a black eye when she delivered the sweet smelling box to my door. This woman wouldn't let go of the box! She said her truck smelled so good and she didn't want the source to be taken away. HAR! I thought she was kidding but when I reached for it - she took a step back! I thought there was going to be a rumble.. she was NOT going to keep that box - no fakkin' way. Finally, after I promised to make sure to leave her some of whatever I decided to make with it. I had to actually bribe the woman to LET GO! Sheesh.
Well I immediately unpacked them and set them on my kitchen table and then I had to rush back to work. Hubbs got home about an hour before me and a phone call was immediately made to tell me that the house smelled like a fruit orchard and what the hell were those odd shaped yellow things on the table? hehehe So for the next 5 or 6 days they stayed in a bowl on the table fragrancing my wee lil house until I finally found a couple recipes that I wanted to try.
The first was an apple and quince pie - I figured it was fitting since it's Autumn here in the Armpit of the Midwest. Course it's still 80º outside, but my calendar tells me it's Fall. Okay well, 4 quince and 4 apples were peeled, cored and sliced up for the pie - which, really is your basic apple pie, just sub some quince for some apples. Of course my house smelled even better as it was baking and I could barely wait until after dinner to try it. You can definitely taste the difference between the apples and the quince and there is also a very different texture. The apples bake down a little more than the quince but both fruits end up very tender. With a scoop of Dulce de Leche icecream, this pie was fantastic. We both enjoyed it very much - so much so that no one at work got any. My mail lady got a huge slab and my sister got a tiny sliver that was left by the time she came for a visit 2 days later. heee!
I had about 5 quince left over and the next recipe I decided to try was called Quince Dumplings with Syrup. While the apple/quince pie was baking, I peeled, cored and sliced the rest of the quince and added them to a pot of simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar) and let them poach for 3 hours on medium-high heat. Where the quince in the apple pie didn't change color by much, they sure did in this syrup.
After 3 hours I had a gorgeous dark ruby red syrup that was sweet with a floral hit in the background. I could have poured it over ice with a smidge of vodka at that point. *hic* But I behaved myself and allowed it to cool. Unfortunately, I had run out of steam that night so I packed up the fruit and syrup separately and put them in the fridge for another night that week. Well.. as time seems to get sucked away from me lately, I never did get the dumplings made - Hubbs and I picked at the fruit unti it was gone and I froze the syrup. I have about 2 cups of it so I think that I will follow Elle's lead and boil it down until I've got jelly. Won't be much, but at least I'll have my first taste of quince jelly. =)
Elle, I can't thank you enough for being so kind to send me the fruit - it was such a great experience cooking with them and an even better experience eating them!! It was a wonderful gift from a wonderful friend.. thank you. =)