Quince in Rose Syrup

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Lest you think i’m a cool cat. i thought i’d share this with you, an email i sent to julia of what julia ate (the quince queen IMO) upon my initial discovery of local quince: I just scored 5 lbs of local quince!!! what do i do!!!??? what should i do?

I don’t think i’ve ever actually seen/held one before. omg. the scent! -tigress …well of course i went for the membrillo first. (although, i gotta admit, it’s back to the drawing board on that one) and then i did this – a winner. then i got my paws on another 5 pounds of local quince!

This time i wanted to preserve the wonderfully exotic nature of quince to enjoy throughout the year without a whole heck-of-a-lot of embellishment. i looked to quince’s native home for inspiration; persia, turkey and their surrounds. in fact, i had a wonderful little bottle of gür that i brought home from last summer’s trip to turkey that was just hanging out, waiting to meet it’s match.

Quince in rose syrup

4 pounds quince
juice of 2 lemons
2 & 1/2 cups sugar
approximately 20 black peppercorns
1/4 cup rose water
pint mason jars

yield: 4 pints

1. prepare the canner and jars for hot water bath processing. no need to sterilize as you will be processing for over 10 minutes. just make sure they are hot when you fill them.

2. prepare a large bowl with cold water. place 4 cups water in a large saucepan and add the quince whole. bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes. take quince out with slotted spoon and drop in cold water. reserve the 4 cups water in the saucepan.

3. remove quince from the bowl, and refill with fresh cold water, add juice of two lemons. one by one peel, core and cut quinces into eighths. drop directly into lemon-water to avoid discoloration.

4. add sugar to the reserved 4 cups of water in pan and heat on low until sugar is dissolved. add quince slices and bring to the boil. simmer gently for 12 minutes, partially covered. turn off heat.

5. remove all 4 pint jars from canning pot. add 5 whole black peppercorns to each. remove quince from syrup with a slotted spoon and fill each jar with quince to 1/2 inch headspace. tap the jars on a towel covered counter to create more space and release air.

6. add 1/4 cup rose water and return syrup to the boil. once boiled turn off heat and pour over fruit into jars. leaving 1/2 inch headspace. use a plastic chopstick or plastic knife to gently remove air bubbles.

7. hot water bath process for 20 minutes.

tigress can jam november: pomes – success! Though i know that rose water is heavily used in persian and turkish sweets, there was a moment when i thought it may be too sweetly perfumed for the quince’s heady scent. alas, the rose and the quince do not compete, rather they marry together to form an harmonious bouquet of exotica. on ice cream this is a no-brainer, but i have something else in mind: a rose n’ quince tarte tatin or custard tart will most definitely find its way out of a couple of these jars sometime in the cold winter months.

learning: not so much a learning as a, yes! with this recipe i came away with about 3/4 of a pint of syrup left. the scent is incredible alone, and i cannot wait to use this rose n’ quince syrup in a holiday cocktail. it has got me thinking back to that summer ripple-craze through the can jam, that had many of us bottling up fruit syrups for luscious warm weather cocktails. i may have to start a new fall tradition..

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