GRANDMA’S QUINCES

Grandma's Quince tree was heavily pregnant with sun and sweetness...  The branches were weighing down with myriad of fruits and golden rays and we knew the end of summer was approaching.  Their fragrance was like a tossed blanket, hugging us with every slight breeze and we were already checking if Mama and Grandma are getting the big pots and jars ready for the traditional preparing of quince compote, confiture and jelly.

It was a ritual for the family’s matriarchate, executed with precision of military manoeuvres.  And when Grandma would take from her old glory chest the primitive grater she kept from her Great-grandmother, we felt as we were part of some sacred ceremony…


Now I hold in my hands the same old weathered primitive grater and I have my two girls tiptoeing on their chairs to get as high as the table and watch me prepare confiture and jelly.  It feels good!  And I can’t be happier!



If you want to pour some “memories from summer” into the jars, here is the recipe –

CONFITURE:
1 ½ fruit of quinces grated
1 ½ kg sugar
1 litre water
4 table spoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice (you might reduce it to 2 tablespoons, if you are planning on using some pectin-based jam settings because they already contain some amount of citric acid).
Wash, dry and keep warm in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius the jars for preserving.
Bring water and sugar to boil and reduce the heat.  Cook until starts to thicken, about 15 minutes or just check by dropping drop syrup on a clean plate and look not to spill and keep its shape.
Clean the quinces from the seeds and skin and keep aside the peels and cores.  You will need them for the jelly.  Add the grated quinces, which should be grated just in the last moment so their colour can be intact as much as possible.
Bring to boil and boil for another 15 minutes.  Do the drop check and if the drop holds its shape, take the confiture from the heat; and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.  Pour into the prepared sterilized jars and seal immediately.
*If the quantity of sugar is your concern, you can reduce it, but you have to help thicken the jelly with extra pectin.  For this amount of syrup 25 grams of pectin will do a great job.  Add the pectin in the last 5 minutes, boil it vigorously stirring occasionally.
JELLY:
Peels and cores from the quinces
1 ½ kg sugar
1 ½ water from the boiled peels and cores
4 table spoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice (you might reduce it to 2 tablespoons, if you are planning on using some pectin-based jam settings because they already contain some amount of citric acid).
Wash, dry and keep warm in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius the jars for preserving.
Place in big pot the peels and cores and generously cover with water.  Bring to boil and reduce the heat.  Let it cook for ½ hour.  Drain the water and sift through cheese cloth.  Measure the liquid and for mix equal quantity of liquid and sugar.  You might choose to have no more than 1 ½ litre of the boiled liquid mixed with 1 ½ kg of sugar.  Boil until thickens into a syrup.
Bring to boil and boil for another 15 minutes.  Do the drop check and if the drop holds its shape, take the confiture from the heat; and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.  Pour into the prepared sterilized jars and seal immediately.
*If the quantity of sugar is your concern, you can reduce it, but you have to help thicken the jelly with extra pectin.  For this amount of syrup 25 grams of pectin will do a great job.  Add the pectin in the last 5 minutes, boil it vigorously stirring occasionally.
Enjoy!  Now the only thing you might have to worry about is getting nice bread and butter for the breakfast tomorrow…

My very best wishes to you,
Sophia

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