I have been given some quinces so I have cooked them down in the slow cooker and have the resultant juice (for jelly) and the pulp for the paste.
I have read the blog and the 'gorgeous site' on Quince Paste but I'm a bit baffled.
I like the idea of making shapes to give a gifts (rather than give 2 jars) but can't square that with the ' cellophane lids' of the jar method.
If I make the shapes do I let them airdry?
Can I use flexible bun trays? I have some avocado shaped dishes, oiled could they be used? Any raised pattern pottery?
I started making quince paste using a French recipe, and they do indeed leave them to air dry. (They do shrink a little, but it doesn't spoil them)
The paste I made two years ago, in one big tray, I have cut into 'portions' and wrapped them in parchment only, and over time they have developed a sugary crust which has given it another dimension. In France they serve it in slices alongside meat or cheese dishes.
This year, I decided to try the shapes as you've suggested, and I have left them under a tea towel until I get back, possibly November time. I used some of the silicon shapes - hearts and flowers, but also in cleaned flat yogurt-type pots. Not sure if this http://sparkly.posterous.com/quince-jelly-and-quince-paste
.... and, if you google quince paste, you may find some shapes that were made in moulds, in days gone by, etc. Particularly, this site.
In Portugal, it (membrillo) is often left outside in the sun to dry out. It can also be dried out in a very low oven.
Good luck with it.
I am going to try drying some of mine out in my dehydrator this year. Years ago I dried a batch on a shelf above an Aga. I laid a muslin cloth above it as it was a solid fuel stove & therefore rather dusty. It worked perfectly.
I think I was following directions from this book by Hilary Spurling
It is a fascinating cookery book from the seventeenth century. The recipes have been researched & put into modern terms by the writer/historian Hilary Spurling so you get both the old & the new versions to compare; she tested all the recipes. It is a wonderful insight into food & life in a grand country house many years ago.
Val, those quince moulds in the Ivan Day link are stunning but so are your photos....the colour of your jelly in the jars is just mouth watering. My quinces are still ripening in the bowl, not long before I can start cooking them up.
"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."
from Les Miserables
Nadine, thanks for mentioning the Elinor Fettiplace book. I have it on my bookshelf, and haven't looked at it for ages, so it is a welcome reminder to have a look at that and other neglected cookbooks!
blog: Devon Garden
I have used Ivan Days's website before and have made up some of the drinks on there- Hippocras was one ( very hard to get all the fine particles filtered out- but very nice product) also some of the other alcoholic drink recipes. These were made for a series of internal talks I did for some of my now ex-colleagues showing how the world has changed over the years and what we think is normal now, was very different then due to scarcity of ingredients e.g the spices that were horrendously expensive, yet we pick them off the supermarket shelf now without thinking.
Are we having fun yet? I am!
That was exhausting! After approx 4 hours of stirring infrequently I arrived at the desired state of goo.
So did my kitchen - hence the exhaustion from cleaning up.
I have several trays of individual 'pastes' decorating the front room with a fervent hope they will dry correctly.
Next week - the jelly will have to be attempted.
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