Sunday, 6 February 2011

Some time ago, in every grocery store, near the stacks of all sorts of fruit, the typical European and the most exotic, I kept looking at the yellow, irregular 'something', which looks a bit like an apple, a bit like a pear, coated with 'hair', hard and totally unfamiliar to me... 
Well, no longer! Because in the end I felt brave enough to ask the man behind the counter what it is ... 'quince' the man screamed, looking at me like I came at least from Mars... Oops, I’ve never eaten it before... Or maybe because it’s less popular and its sourness which makes impossible to eat it fresh. So after returning home, I quickly began to read stories about quince and it seems that in Poland it’s hard to get it out of season (October). I wouldn’t have thought that we’ve got so much quince here and that the seasonality of quinces on the island has no end. I totally don’t remember, if my mum or grandma did something from the quince, and this is a shame because now when the first home-made quince preserves are done, I definitely know what I lost... 

Firsty, cultivated in Mediterranean countries. 

According to some legends, it's not apple, but pale gold quince tempted Eve. The ancient Greeks and Romans dedicated the fruit of Aphrodite and Venus ... 
Although not suitable for direct eating, is an excellent candidate for the jam or marmalade (in Portuguese quince means marmelo), or tincture. Due to the large amount of pectin is a great thickener. Slightly cooked, is a brilliant addition to meats and cakes and it's very stable so is suitable for long storage. 
This first time, we managed to make a juice and marmolade from the quince. Quince juice has many medicinal and cosmetic uses. The fruits are irreplaceable in the treatment of colds and strengthening immunity. They contain more vitamin C than a lemon. It also contains lots of vitamins B1, B2, PP and carotenoids. It has an antioxidant effect. 
Infusions of the quince is used in inflammation of the mouth and throat. It also helps to alleviate inflammation in the stomach. 
Fans of the quince liquors will certainly appreciate the fact that quince alcoholic tinctures have a positive effect on heart function and lower blood pressure, weaken bowel contractions and stimulate digestion. 
You can cook it rejuvenating tonic for the face. Just peel the fruits, pour a few drops of alcohol, let stand for 2 weeks, then strain and dilute with water. 

Quince juice for tea. 

1.5 kg quinces (washed, peeled and cut into small pieces)
1 / 2 kg of sugar (to taste)
Pinch of cinnamon

Wash the fruits, cut into thin slices (remove the cores) and arrange in a jars - a layer of quince - a layer of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon (the last layer should be of sugar). Cover with a linen cloth and leave for a few days to let go of the juice. After a few days, pour the juice through gauze to cleaned bottles and pasteurize in the oven in 130 degrees for approx. 40 minutes. 

From the remained fruit, which still retain their valuable properties we made a few jars of lovely marmalade. 

Quince marmolade.

Fruit quince with cinnamon (remaining after the juice)
150 - 200g sugar

Move the remained quinces in a large frying pan, then simmer until the pieces begin to fall apart, pouring water from time to time. Add the sugar and fry for a while. Fill the jars and pasteurise in the oven at 130 degrees for about 20 minutes.


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