Monday, May 19, 2008


Quinces, beautiful and weird fruit that they are, have abounded lately... in our house anyway. When I go for a run I pass this big laden tree, breathe in a lungful and try not to steal any. Cheap at the shops too. I like 3-hour-dark-pink-poached quince with yoghourt at breakfast time and after tea and in the afternoon. If it hasn't made an appearance at breakfast, as well as if they have, you could have them in the mid-morning too.

My mum comes from the country, and her mum is therefore a country cook. They lived on a farm and it was roast lamb pretty much every day, and my Grandma ran the house and cooked for everyone. She's a hard worker and when we visit, it's like this huge chance for her to feed us all up with roasts and sponge cakes and kisses. Her teacake is a first prize winner at the local show. We LOVE her apricot jam, and I particularly love visiting the source of it in summer, a little home orchard that is really hard to find even if you've been driving there for 75 years and when we go is chockers with warm apricots, and peaches and plums appearing. Grandma's tomato relish... well, you understand.

So on the farm where Mum grew up, there is a quince tree more than fifty years old, and her brother and his family live there now and I think they pruned it last year. Pruned or not, it is awesomely prolific!
And it is still the origin of Grandma's fantastic Quince Jelly, or Luince Jelly as we know it, because she doesn't quite close her Qs.

Thus it was at Easter we came home with a box of quinces (and four pomegranates), a box or two of jams and relishes and a warm-quince-scented car.

Me, I finally got to make a certain buttery tart and affirm in my opinion that yes, Stephanie is right, butter and quinces do both certainly go with cream. I was too lazy to photograph that part, and it really needed eating, but I hope you get the gist.

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