So here is the LONG overdue quince update. The sad news is… they all died! I had heard on the grapevine (and in many online quince tips) that the quince is a hardy creature, capable of being left alone for up to 2 weeks without spoiling. All lies. I kept mine for about a week and a half, bought a big shiny new Kilner jar to make a start on pickling the quinces to serve with ham, and when I had washed, scrubbed, dried and then started peeling, the rotten secret was revealed… Brown specks are OK within a quince, but mine were pretty much all brown inside, and the lovely fragrant smell had all but disappeared. The flesh should be firm and yellow inside with the texture of an apple, a few brown spots are OK but not the mass of brown I discovered. However, I did learn something…. Quinces are easy to peel. Every blog and recipe I looked into warned me off the daunting task, it’s just like peeling a thick skinned apple, takes a little more time, but a regular peeler is fine. Another thing I realised is that they are really dense, they are difficult to slice so make sure your knife is really sharp. All the other discoveries are going to have to wait until next year….
I thought I’d share the misery with you so you can be prepared… and so will I.
So the picture below is the before and after picture when washing. Quinces have a soft fluffy outer down that you have to scrub off, I put all mine in the sink and used a clean sourer to gently wipe the fluff off into the water.
The pictures below here are what you DO and DON”T want. The quince on the left has a few brown specks, all of them looked like this when I first picked them, some more than others and some very pure yellow. I didn’t notice that the majority had suddenly developed a kind of quince acne until I’d washed and started peeling. The one on the right, is an over-ripe dull brown on the inside quince. It was terribly depressing.
As you can see, the brown spot had taken over the majority of my beautiful quinces so I’ll just have to hold out for next year. It’s such a shame as I was looking forward to Membrillo, pickled quince, quince chutney, quince pie, roasted quince with cream and vanilla, quince jam, quince upside-down cake, quince pickle, quinces on quinces on quinces…………… *sigh*