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
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.