Two weeks ago one of my friends came round with a large bag of flowering quince.  It’s the sort of shrub that likes to hang out in car parks or landscaped public spaces.  It also does quite well in suburban gardens around here.  We have a small bush in ours.  We did have a bigger bush in the front garden but the Captain killed it.

I thought long and hard about how to use this bagful.  For about five whole minutes.  And then made some jam.  It’s very nice jam, not too sweet.  I like it a lot and I am not a lover of jam.  The irony of my current obsession is not lost on me.  I also started some quince brandy which I have high hopes for.  This left me with just enough to experiment with.  Alys Fowler’s book, The Thrifty Forager, makes mention of quince lemonade so I thought I would try to concoct that.  The results are so delicious that I post them with delight and heartily commend them to you.  Quite possibly the best thing about the recipe is that you need to start by freezing the quince meaning that long hot summer days, which are currently something of a distant memory, can be spent sipping this dreaming of the time when the quince will be fruiting again.

My only problem now, is what to do with the bag load of quince my Mother has just delivered to me.  Shall I freeze the lot in anticipation of those hazy summer days sipping quinceade, or make some quince and apple compote?  Perhaps a compromise is called for and a little of each made.


300g frozen quince, defrosted

2 1/2 litres water

200g sugar

Halve and de-seed the quince.  Liquidise with a little of the water, slowing adding the rest until the whole lot is incorporated.  Sieve into another container, pressing the sieve with the back of a spoon.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Use a hand-held blender to give a final whizz and achieve the frothy head.  Serve.


10 thoughts on “Quinceade

  1. Have a look at Jane Grigson’s book, “Good Things”, for some more quince ideas (on eBay from 0.99p). My favourite is quince cheese or membrilo. It takes longer to make than jam and requires more stirring, but eaten with a good sheep’s cheese it is as close to gastronomic heaven as you can get. As the boiling process progresses it starts to spit so we use a spatter guard over the top of the pan to prevent the kitchen being covered in the stuff! Don’t try to skimp the final drying process; we put it on top of the central heating boiler for several days. When it is ready cut it into smallish squares and store in caster sugar. When it is all eaten you then have a handy supply of quince sugar left behind as a final bonus.

  2. Fo everybody making quinceade, do not change this recipe I made four 1/2 ltr bottles of it (from another recipe) and ended up after a few days with quince jelly or maybe even marmillo in narrowhalsed bottles. I tasted some when it was freshly made, with buttermilk, delicious. Quince goes very well with sour dairyproducts, I found since. Now I have to figure how to liquidice .the quincejelly to get it out of the bottles, most likely reheat them in a hot waterbath, will resolve this somehow.

  3. Yum, yum – just found your blog and I’m loving it already! When we’re on our narrow boat I love to look for and forage for free food.

    But flowering quinces are one of my favourites. I usually use the produce from mine along with my neighbours to make crab apple and quince jelly, but next year I’ll try the lemonade!

    Thanks a million ….. Joan

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