When the quinces’ season arrived, my grandmother used to made cheese and jam around mid-October or first days of November and put the rest of the fruits all over to release their fragrance in the rooms. Cheese was cut and kept in wooden boxes, sometimes with rosemary, sometimes with dry bay leaves, anise stars or dried vanilla fruits, depending of the spices she added to the cheese. I have used Ginger spices mix that contains cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg powder. If you do not have it at hand, make your own to taste, or add spices mix that suits you.
Boxes with Quince cheese were kept in the pantry at my grandmothers’ opened, so the air was drying quince candies for weeks. For Christmas we had it all ready.
The easiest way was to cut the cubes, roll them in sugar and store them, but years after, when flowery shape cutters arrived to markets, she cut different shapes. What was left after cutting, she used to add to apples when making pie or to fig bars to ennoble the taste. Or maybe it was just her being frugal so she added it to replace a certain amount of sugar. It definitely gives new flavor to any dessert or warm drink you make. So, after I have cut these flowers, I stored the leftovers in freezer to use for another idea; or maybe I shall simply eat them instead of chocolate.
Quince Cheese - Grandmother's Recipe
- 2 lb quince
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp citric acid
- 1 tsp Ginger cookies spices mix
- 1 tsp sugar + 2 tsp pectin
Wash and cut quinces to quarters. No need to peel but take the core out.
In a pot, put quinces, sugar and water together and boil on medium heat for 20 minutes.
Have ready two flat square baking dishes: one of 10 x 7 inches and the other 11 x 7 inches. Lightly oil them.
Blend quinces mixture in a food processor to have puree.
Return puree to a pot, add citric acid, spices mix and sugar with pectin.
Boil for additional 5 minutes or until thicken according to your taste.
Pour the mix into baking dishes and dry on air for approx. 15 days to become firm.
Tap the cheese with paper towel gently to take away any extra oil or moisture.
Cut the cubes or flowers and cover with granulated sugar.
Store in opened boxes in airy place. Put some rosemary or bay leaves or anise aside.