Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Elegant Quince Preserves & the Beauty of Transformation

devon No Comments

This post contains affiliate links meaning that I may make a small commission based off of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

Quince is a fruit that undergoes an enormous transformation to become something wonderful. These quince preserves are a culinary delight.

Elegant Quince Preserves & the Beauty of Transformation

Devon No Comments

Quince is a fruit that undergoes an enormous transformation to become something wonderful. These quince preserves are a culinary delight.

The first time I made quince preserves is probably the first time I trusted the magic inherent to the culinary process.  I had only seen quince recipes in swoon-worthy cookbooks until I tasted it by way of membrillo (quince paste), paired with an aged manchego cheese at a tapas restaurant whilst on a date with my now husband.  It was divinely sweet-tart, with floral, fruity, vague tropical aromatics.  It was most wonderful.  Serendipitously, a few weeks later, the farm stand that I often frequently had a small box of nearly overripe quince on the counter.  I snatched them up – every last one of the intoxicatingly fragrant fruits – to set about making my first ever batch of quince preserves.

They did not disappoint.

The quince is a lumpy, bumpy, tree fruit somewhat reminiscent in shape to a pear.  Immature fruits bear a fuzzy coating that greys and thins as the fruits mature from green to yellow throughout the mid to late fall.  Its flesh is creamy white that oxidizes swiftly to a rather unfortunate brown. Raw, it is hard, somewhat unattractive and barely edible (except shaved ever so thinly). But, you see, quince is a fruit of transformation.  There is much more there than what the eye beholds.

Inside the cloak of this humble fruit is a rosy-amber translucent jewel waiting to be revealed.

If you have been following my Reclaiming the Homestead journey, you might remember my mentions of the skeletal remains of a beaver ravaged orchard.  The cherries, pears, and apples lay in waste and the few remaining plums may not survive the winter ahead.  In the middle of the bygone orchard is a scraggly bush, practically overtaken with blackberries.  It was hardly worth noting during our property visits through the protracted closing process.  The night we did finally close on our property a closer inspection revealed an abundance of still small, but characteristic fruit.  A quince stood alone.  A fruiting symbol of transformation.

quince illustration

Perhaps I dig too deeply for the meaning in things, but it seems no small coincidence that I encounter this fruit again at such a point transformation in my life.  And not just that of the most obvious transformation  – the renovation the 100 years old homestead, but more subtle transformations.  My oldest child is quite nearly an adult, chronologically speaking, and my youngest is now in school full time. There will be no more babies, at least not of my own, and my role as a mother is evolving – someday, far too soon, my “baby” will be too big for me to pick up.  I am not “needed” so, as I once was.  At the same time, my space here has grown.  Once I wondered why anybody would read what I had to say.  That seems not to be the case anymore, and I now find myself trying to balance the complexities of writing on subjects of holistic living and actually living holistically.  I find myself in the unique position of turning away work in order to remain authentic to my message.  I am no longer a student, but a fledgling teacher (who will always be learning).  Transformation.

Quince is a fruit that undergoes an enormous transformation to become something wonderful. These quince preserves are a culinary delight.

It is in the harsh environment of heat and acid, that the homely quince undergoes its own transformation.  Heated slowly, over a fair about of time, slices of quince take on the jewel-hued translucency of a late summer sunset.  Amber-rose quince preserves are elegant, complex, intensely aromatic, almost otherworldly.  Quince preserves are not only the result of a transformation but serve to transform sweet and savory meals into something truly special.  Unmistakably perfect with an aged manchego, quince preserves melted over crispy duck is divine.  Folded into mascarpone and tucked into pastry, it makes a delicious dessert.  Even a dollop atop Greek yogurt with a handful of pistachios is a treat fit for a queen.

Quince preserves are a culinary symbol of transformation.  Trust in the process.

Quince Preserves Recipe

Quince Preserves

Quince is a fruit that undergoes an enormous transformation to become something wonderful. These quince preserves are a culinary delight.  Makes 6-8 half pints.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs quince
  • 2 cups organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups water

Instructions

  • Peel, core, and quarter your quince, then slice into wedges approximately 1/4" inch thick.  Place in a bowl of cold water with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice to prevent excessive browning and oxidation while you work through the fruit.
  • Drain fruit.  Place the prepared quince, lemon juice, sugar, and water in a large, heavy bottom stock pot.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for approximately one hour.  During this time, the quince will become a deep translucent pinkish orange and quite thick.
  • Ladle into sterilized half-pint jars, leaving at least 1/2" headspace.  Wipe rims clean and place lids and rings on fingertight.  Process in a water bath canner at a rolling boil for 15 minutes.
  • After processing, remove jars from canner and place on a towel to cool.  Loosen or remove rings and check for seal.  Store in a cool dark place for up to a year.  Refrigerate after opening.

Pin this:
Quince Preserves

Devon

Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of NittyGrittyLife.com can be seen at LearningHerbs.com, GrowForageCookFerment.com, AttainableSustainable.net, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

About Me

About Me

Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More

Devon

Connect

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Popular Links

Instagram

  • 💕Still finding my footing after losing the best friend anybody could ever ask for.
My dear beloved grandmother passed from this world last Friday.  I had the great honor to be at her bedside, to feel the last hummingbird-like flutter of her pulse, to observe her final wishes as she flew from this world to the next - undoubtedly with the same compassion, dignity and boundless optimism that she blessed our world with.
This picture of hers, mine, and my youngest daughter’s hands was taken a couple weeks ago now... a treasure of time spent together before renal failure claimed her ability to speak, while she could still nibble on a cookie and enjoy her beloved black coffee.  After this picture, we entered the strange yet surprising dignified “hospice time.” For those of you who have taken part in the hospice care of a loved one - you know this indescribable separation of hospice time and “real time.” There is a fixed end point, yet nobody knows when it is - and so you live each moment, hoping that it is, in fact, not your last, while also wishing that your loved one would pass peacefully and painlessly from these earthly bounds.
I do not post this looking for an outpouring of sympathy - those that know me well know that I rather bristle at the attention.  I write this post to thank all of the dedicated hospice care workers and as a knowing hug to all those loved ones left behind who have felt the mixed emotions that this time of great grief.
Sending love out into the world tonight. 💕
#grief #hospice #hospicecare
  • During these early fall days when the first freeze is never far off, I scurry to put up the last bits of the garden. This fermented hot sauce two ways are a perfect pair of recipes for the last remaining peppers and the nasturtiums that are usually abundant at this time.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#hotsauce #peppers #nasturtiums #fermentation #lactofermentation #preservation #foodpreservation #edibleflowers 
https://nittygrittylife.com/lacto-fermented-hot-sauce-nasturtiums/
  • Now well into October, I am observing the ruby glow of hawthorn berries and rose hips.
Right now is this time to make this delicious mead.  It will ferment and age just perfectly for holiday toasts and herbal libations.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#mead #hawthorn #rosehips #homemead #meadmaking #makingmead #herbs #herbalist #herbalism #medicinalherbs #fermentation
https://nittygrittylife.com/spiced-hawthorn-rose-hip-mead/
  • I LOVE baking bread.  I love the tactile nature of kneading and forming the dough, and, most of all, I love the aroma that fills my home as loaves bake in the oven. 
Here is a savory sourdough recipe speckled with sauteed greens, garlic and smoked cheddar.  It is unbelievably good.  Baked in a dutch oven it develops a irresistible crust and the scent is to die for.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#breadbaking #bread #sourdough #homestead #homesteading #homesteader #baking #cookingfromscratch 
https://nittygrittylife.com/dutch-oven-homemade-sourdough-bread/
  • It hardly feels real.
A year ago, I had just sent the manuscript for my first book off to the printer when my publisher offered me a contract on a second book.  It didn't seem such a crazy, far out, thing to do at the time -- this committing to write and photograph two entire books in one year.
It was.
Crazy and far out, for sure.
The last year has been a flurry of publishing activity, but I am so happy to announce that my second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen is almost ready to make its debut! 
The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen is dedicated to the concept of food as medicine, and is my guide to rethinking everyday foods and culinary herbs to cook our way to better health!
"Kitchen" officially publishes October 29th, but you can reserve your copy from me or any one of the major book sellers in the link below.  ANDDDD, as  thank you for pre-ordering, I would love to send you my Companion Guide to Culinary Herbs ebook as my gift to you!
Tap link in bio to head to my book page!

#author #newbook #book #naturalliving #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #healthyliving #foodenergetics #flavorprofiles #pagestreetpublishing #theherbalistshealingkitchen #kitchenapothecary 
https://nittygrittylife.com/introducing-the-herbalists-healing-kitchen/
  • Pears and apples are the fruits of fall. 
One of my favorite flavors from my youth was my grandmother's spiced apple butter.  I've replicated that flavor and punched up the acidity with a recipe that calls for apple cider vinegar (as opposed to lemon juice) -- giving this fruit butter an amazing depth of flavor.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#apples #pears #applebutter #pearbutter #canning #canningseason #homestead #homesteading #homesteader #homesteadlife #homesteadlifestyle
https://nittygrittylife.com/slow-cooker-spiced-apple-pear-butter/
  • Absolutely amazing weekend with some even more amazing women that I am positively HONORED to call colleagues - and even more importantly friends.
A weekend spent about Salt Lake City, speaking at #gardencomm2019, touring @melonmonologues gardens and being led on a tour of her favorite mountain places, a walking tour of some gorgeous botanical gardens, and a sight see at the temple - cuz when in SLC...
So... @attainablesustainable @melonmonologues @the_happy_herban @tenthacrefarm @homestead_honey and  @brownthumbmama  you are AMAZING LADIES!
#utah #getoutside #garden #mountains #nature
  • With the weather finally cooling, it is great time to think about planting trees and shrubs in your landscape.  The long cool months ahead are great for establishing a healthy root system!
#herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #holisticgardening #medicinegarden #herbgarden #medicinaltrees #medicinalshrubs
https://nittygrittylife.com/10-medicinal-trees-and-shrubs/
  • Sweet pickled figs are an amazingly delicious treat.  Believe me whenI tell you this. 
I crafted this recipe around my father's nostalgic recollections of his Scottish grandmother making the most of the bountiful fruits at her Southern Californian home.  While I never tasted Nana's pickled figs, my father thought this recipe did them great justice!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#figs #pickledfigs #foodpreservation #preservation #canning #canningseason #homestead #homesteader #homesteading
https://nittygrittylife.com/sweet-pickled-figs/

Follow @nittygrittymama

×
shares