Friday, November 6, 2015
Do you have quince growing in your region? We can find it here in Western New York from a couple local farms in the fall and occasionally in the grocery stores in the fall and winter. They are a very hard fruit that needs to be cooked before eating. A few years ago my husband and I discovered this old Bing Crosby Christmas song "Christmas Dinner Country Style" (if you've never heard it, check it out - it's great) on a holiday album we bought. I absolutely love the song, and then became kind of obsessed with the idea of pickled quince at a holiday table. Lucky for me I have a copy of Ripe and it contains a whole section on quinces and also a recipe for pickles.
I actually made these pickles last year at this time, but ran out of time to post them before quince season was over.... so I saved them until now. Now is the perfect time to scout out some quince and make a batch of pickles to serve along with your holiday roast, turkey, or ham. These pickles offer a unique and lovely compliment to roasted meats - sharp, sweet, tart, and delicious. They will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks and indeed I'd recommend making them at least one week ahead of when you want to eat them so they become extra flavorful.
3 cups cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups sugar
10 juniper berries
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf, broken in half
3-4 medium quince
In a large stainless steel pot, heat the vinegar, sugar, juniper, black peppercorns, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
While the mixture is heating, peel, core, and cut each quince lengthwise into six pieces. Add the quince to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is fork-tender. This will take about 20-30 minutes. Let cool and place in a glass jar, covering with the cooking liquid. Cover the jar and store in the refrigerator until serving.
What was I cooking one year ago?: salted caramel corn w/ peanuts
Two years ago?: Chinese five spice pork over spaghetti squash
Three years ago?: pumpkin pie ice cream
Four?: coconut & lime poached white fish w/ baby bok choy
5?: pumpkin corn muffins