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Quinces
Tue 25-Sep-12
1:23 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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I have been really lucky and just received 14 of these unusual fruits. I have been reading up about them and discover that they make a lovely jelly.

Now the ones I have are very hard and green and I am wondering if they might have been picked a bit too soon so have them in 2 bowls in the living room to see if they ripen up a bit.

If anyone could offer any first hand advice or info on how to tell when they have ripened and maybe some recipes I would be really grateful. I have a steam juicer so can either steam the fruit or boil them.

I understand they give off a lovely aroma as they ripen but so far I can't detect any smell from them.

Thanks everyone.

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Wed 26-Sep-12
12:21 am
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Terrier
York

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Are they the ones that are pear shaped with fluffy skins?

If so you can allow them to ripen, but they'll still be rock hard anyway, you need to wash off the fluff and then just hack them to pieces with a strong knife or hatcher/chopper, then boil for around and hour, not sure how you'd do it through your steamer though.

They make the most beautiful coloured and tasting jelly

Wed 26-Sep-12
7:11 am
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OlgaO
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I second that- I have made the most fabulous jelly with quinces last year, it had set like a dream! Also, push the leftover fruit thru mouli and use the pulp for quince cheese or add to marmalade ( tried lemon and seville orange, both worked very well). I'm sure there has to be a decent chutney recipe somewhere, too!

Wed 26-Sep-12
10:23 am
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mauramac
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Ooh that does sound nice - adding to marmalade as I have been saving all my lemon halves and orange peel to make another batch of leftover marmalade. All the family loved the first lot and it has all gone now. We actually preferred it to the Seville marmalade.

I do have a mouli I bought years ago but the wretched thing never worked and was so frustrating I have thrown it in garage (along with all other unused items and now destined for a boot sale).

Now I am a bit concerned about my 'quinces' as they do not have fluffy skins but are quite smooth eeek 

I'll try to take a photo of them and download it but don't hold your breath as I always struggle with this.

Thanks x

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Wed 26-Sep-12
11:13 am
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Xahha
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We have quinces in the garden, but not the right sort for making jam unfortunately. They are hard , almost round and yellowy looking. I was disapointed when I found they were the wrong sort.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Wed 26-Sep-12
1:14 pm
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mauramac
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Oh no…..please tell me these are not the same as yours yell

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Wed 26-Sep-12
3:53 pm
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Rob12
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Surely you can just steam them into submission if they are not the softer variety for jam making?  The ones I use are hard as rocks, they get steamed for nearly an hour, then the core and surrounding bit that is gravelly in texture is scraped out and the rest is used to make the quince paste.  The peel, core and gravelly bits goes into a jelly bag and the strained juice is turned into jelly (it goes a lovely clear golden colour, not the rosy red you get from the pulp if you make jam from that).

Wed 26-Sep-12
4:36 pm
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Xahha
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Ours are what is known as the flowering quince (Chaenomeles) sometimes called japanese quince or japonica, which have red flowers and the fruit is yellow and bullet hard and round. The quinces normally used are from Cydonia oblonga trees and have a pear like shape.(looking at the pics they do look a little pear shaped I think?

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Wed 26-Sep-12
5:13 pm
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Hattie
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Martin, you can still make a jelly from your ornamental Chaenomeles quince tree. Here is Fiona's article & recipe, from her blog. 

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 26-Sep-12
5:17 pm
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mauramac
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They are pear shape but have no idea about flowers as they were given to my hubby by a colleague of his who bought some of my jam. Richard had put out a request for any fruit or veg not wanted or from a glut for me to make into jam/jelly etc. Proceeds of sales go to the Little dog rescue plus anyone who donates fruit or veg gets a free pot of jam/jelly/chutney of their choice. It works really well and so far have been given loads of runner beans, apples, blackberries and now these quinces which I was so looking forward to using.

I can steam them or boil but no idea when they will be ready to use. Somewhere I read that they give off a lovely aroma but these ones have no smell ....as yet ponder

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Wed 26-Sep-12
8:23 pm
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Rob12
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Hi Mauramac

 

if they are like the ones I used, steam them for 1 hour, then you will still need a spoon or a knife to remove the core and a bit of the flesh from around the core (this tends to contain the grainy cells).  You can then dice the rest of the flesh and either continue to steam until soft, or bake them on a low heat in the oven or boil in a little water - whatever works for you.  However the longer you manage to cook them without reducing them to a pulp, the more pronounced the rosy colour will become.  As to fragrance - that seems to vary according to the type of quince you get.  Once you have the fruit soft and/or rosy coloured you can then treat as per usual for jelly or process with an equal weight of sugar to make quince paste (membrillo) or turn into chutney. Quince is more forgiving than most fruits.  Experiment, have fun!

Wed 26-Sep-12
10:13 pm
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Terrier
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I've used fruit from both the ornamental tree and the 'proper fruit' , both give excellent rests Maura, so I'd still give it a go, maybe just let them stand for a week or so to ripen a bit more, I don't bother removing the cores as they get jelly bagged anyway, I like the idea of roasting first though Rob, might give that a go this yer.

Thu 27-Sep-12
1:38 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Wow - never realised it was such a complex fruit. Thanks for advice Rob/Janet.

I would like to try to make some jelly and also jam if possible. If I cut the fruit up and steam it in my steam juicer for the jelly then can I still use the pulp left in the pan for jam?

I might also try to just boil or roast some of the fruit and use that for jam ponder

This needs thinking about............wish me luck big_laugh

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Thu 27-Sep-12
4:34 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Maura, our quinces look like this:

picture courtesy of epicentre.com

and the seeds in our quinces are surrounded by a sticky jelly-like glue!

They weigh nearly a pound each - i.e. very large - and yellow and furry when ready.

 

However, this is a picture from another website:

Image Enlarger

huntergathercook.typepad.com

and these look a bit like yours....

 

Jan is right, they can be used, and do make a wonderful colour jelly, and are very fragrant.

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Live life to express, not to impress
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Just make your absence felt"
Thu 27-Sep-12
5:33 pm
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mauramac
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Thanks Val

I did look at images of Quinces on Google but as you probably know there are lots of different ones in varying shades. I wasn't sure if mine would turn yellow or remain green. They definitely dont have any furry stuff on skin - its got a very tiny speckle to the skin. I'm assuming the lady who gave them to us didn't wash off the fuzz ponder

One of them (not in original photos) was a windfall and had split open a bit so I've cut it in half and this is what it looks like. It was quite easy to cut into.

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