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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quince Jelly, Plum Paste and a cup of Ginger Lemon Mint tea


Quince Jelly


Living in the bush means that I don't have many fruit trees, but from time to time I am lucky enough to get fruit from friend's trees.
One of my favourite has to be quince; it looks so retro and photogenic (ok, I am talking about my dress as well!) and I love quince paste! But this year I decided to make quince jelly, just for a change.


Cut the quinces and remove the pips, add the juice of half a lemon and then place into a pot with a little water. Cook until the quinces are a soft mush. Now you will have to place this 'mass' into a jelly bag or cloth (I use a cotton pillowcase which I bought just to make jellies) and hung it overnight over a bowl to collect the juices. Drip drip drip you will collect some lovely red-orange coloured juice, but do not squeeze the bag, or the jelly will become cloudy!



Measure the juice and add the same amount in sugar. Bring to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Test to see if the jelly is setting by picking up a little on a teaspoon: if it hardens when cold then the jelly is ready, otherwise boil it a little longer. Once ready pour into a rectangular container. After a few minutes skin the top (this will have all the 'scum' which rises to the surface and needs to be discarded).
Let the jelly set for a few days, then cut into cubes and serve.







Plum Paste







I got the plums from Arfi, when I went to her house for an Auckland food bloggers get-together.
Wash the plums and place them in a large saucepan with a little water. Bring the fruit to a gentle boil. 



Simmer the jam for about 20 minutes and then pass through a sieve, discarding the stones.
Put back into the pot and bring back to the boil.  Add the sugar (I used 60% sugar to the weight of the fruit) and stir well. Simmer until you are happy with the consistency (the more you cook it, the thicker the paste. You can also add an apple (not peeled, just chopped and pips removed) for a thicker paste. 




Place the paste into plastic containers, jelly moulds, cups... anywhere you can let it set for a few weeks. I used a silicon muffin tray.






When you need to use the paste tip it over a plate. I did this a bit too early (I couldn't wait to try it) and the top was still soft, but the longer you wait the harder it will become.







And for my cuppa: One of my favourite hot drinks: lemon, fresh ginger (peel it first) and a few mint leaves from the garden. All into the teapot, add boiling water and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve with honey, if you like.




Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

29 comments:

  1. Che belle le tue gelatine, anche se ammetto che la mela cotogna non e' tra le mie perferite.
    Piuttusto abbiamo gli stessi gusti in fatto di drinks ;-)

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  2. Immagino che dove sei tu berrai litri di te alla menta!

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  3. Che bellal'estate!Le tue frutte sono troppo invitanti!

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  4. What a neat post! Looking forward for more post from you. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. I LOOOOOVE quince jelly! But I never ate it like that - what a great idea!! One of the best show exhibits I ever saw was an entry in the 'Bowl of Fruit - Other' category. It was a bowl of golden yellow quinces complete with fluff and leaves. Sensational!! And the beautiful aroma made it even better.

    Have a great day!

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  6. Bellissime le tue gelatine.. che voglia di frutta ^_^

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  7. Io preferisco le prugne ma..quella tisana..mmmmmmm!;)baciotto

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  8. A casa mia piacciono entrambi ma la gelatina di cotogne (che poi e' molto diversa dalla cotognata) e' piaciuta di piu'. Infatti ce ne sbafiamo un bel po' con i crackers e parmigiano... e' quasi finita!!!!

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  9. Alessandra sono bellisime mi piacerebbe poterle fare, ma dove trovo una ricetta tradotta? baci

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  10. entrambe le ricette favolose ma la cotognata è splendida, peccato non trovare più queste mele selvatiche! baci

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  11. Tamtam, se vai nel sidebar, accanto alla foto delle prugne e sopra la foto dei bicchieri con il sorbetto di kiwi c'e' il google translator che ti traduce il blog in italiano.

    Se hai problemi fammi sapere e ti scrivo la ricetta.

    ciao
    A.

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  12. Your jellies look delightful and I love the peacock pattern of your dress. Today's post was wonderfully colorful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  13. Una meraviglia!! Complimenti anche per la presentazione!

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  14. The jellies look so beautiful.Liked your plum paste and tea too perfect for spring.

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  15. cara Alessandra che post rilassante, ricco di cose piccole e buone, preziose perchè fatte con arte! un abbraccio

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  16. I like those little arrows for serving the quince jellies. And those plums are gorgeous, never seen this type around here. Delightful autumnal flavours !

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  17. @ Vanille, they are damsons plums, perfect for plum paste :-)

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  18. Ah, and the arrows are Japanese :-)

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  19. mi sembrano delle cose molto buone con un buon tè, la preparazione con le prugne è fantastica !

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  20. beautiful jelly
    I love your presentation

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  21. We all love damson plum cheese. Very nice with blue cheese.

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  22. mela cotogna... mi piace un sacco. e grazie per la bevanda di limone, menta e zenzero la provo subito!

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  23. I love quince jelly on toast :) This year I made quince paste though - just posted on my blog about it. I used up all my plums from this year but will have to remember plum paste for next year! I wonder if one can do fejoa paste... I have so many.

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  24. Really Penny? My feijoas seem to be still small... with only a few big... when it stops raining I will check them out!

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  25. Your pictures have a distinctive character. Wonderful! I love your site. Keep posting.

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