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Pomegranates and Quinces

January 6, 2016

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We were recently given a great gift (bought from the Cypriot greengrocer) of fat waxy quinces and pomegranates both looking as if they’d tumbled out of a C18 oil painting.

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I love pomegranate and added the juicy, ruby-red jewels to a dish of Camargue red rice mixed with flat-leaf parsley and a French dressing.

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The quince are such a sensuous fruit I would happily carry one round in my pocket in order to take in the subtle scent of Bramley apples and to stroke the waxy skin. But waste not want not is my 2016 mantra so I converted two of them into Quince Pickle from Diana Henry’s Salt, Sugar and Smoke.

Recipe:

600ml of cider vinegar, 225g of granulated sugar, 6 cloves, 6 juniper berries, 12 black peppercorns, 4 strips of unwaxed lemon rind, 1kg quinces.

Put all ingredients except the quinces in a pan and bring to the boil and simmer till the sugar has dissolved. Peel the quinces and core before cutting into eights. Heat the vinegar again and drop the quince segments in and cook until tender about 30 minutes. Transfer the segments into sterilised jars then boil the vinegar to reduce. Pour over the fruit and include the spices but omit the lemon strips. The pickle will store for a year and can be served with hot and cold meat dishes and terrines.

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The other two fruit were stewed in a syrup of sugar, water, cloves and lemon juice for 45 minutes to store in the freezer. They can be added to stewed apples or served chilled with a good vanilla ice-cream.

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In despair about finding anything to pick for the house I suddenly spotted a small self-seeded Euphorbia wulfennii with acid green flowers emerging on the tips of the primitive stems. It seemed a bit mean to pick the only flowers but I have several clumps on the allotment so will replace the plant forthwith.DSCN6050

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2016 1:16 pm

    The pickle sounds and looks delicious, especially in these far winter days. What a lovely gift you received!

  2. January 6, 2016 4:15 pm

    Beautiful colours for this time of year! I had only one quince from my new little tree last year so I’ll have to store your quince recipes in hopes of a larger harvest this year. The only problem that I have with making pickle is that the house smells of vinegar for ages afterwards! Not the homeliest of aromas!

    • January 6, 2016 6:40 pm

      Well I’ve just been given a good tip for lingering cooking smells (fried fish for me) that is to light a couple of candle night lights for half an hour. About to try it !!

  3. January 7, 2016 4:36 pm

    How lucky you were! I love both those fruits and am always on the look out for new quince recipes. The pickle sounds like a great idea. A friend gave me a pot of quince, apple and rosewater preserve before christmas, but I haven’t opened it yet.

  4. January 7, 2016 5:01 pm

    Gosh I like the sound of your quince preserve. I could experiment by decanting some of the quince pickle into a bowl and adding a very small drop of rosewater. It sounds wonderfully middle eastern..

  5. January 10, 2016 3:42 pm

    I love quince but our local fruit grower who sold them at the farmers’ market has stopped selling them, so we didn’t manage to get any this year. It’s such an unusual taste and texture. I love pomegranates but hubby is less keen. They are a bit too much effort for him & then of course the kitchen looks like a blood bath with pomegranate juice splattered everywhere. 😉

  6. January 16, 2016 3:33 pm

    And sometimes the pips in pomegranates detract from the flavour but I like the colour and sparkle they add to a dish.

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