I moved into my house two years ago. It has a wonderful garden with over thirty five fruit trees; apples, pears, plums and figs.

I also have a wonderful quince tree, abundantly hanging to the ground with huge yellow quinces. I estimate there are about 200 kilos of fruit, but what can I do with them?

I need easy recipes, not too time consuming; no jellies unless they are simple to make.

Can the fruits be stored - if so how?

Any ideas gratefully received, and if anyone is in the north London area, come and help yourself.


Re: Qunice

Hi Michael. Try making quince jam (which, by the way in Portuguese is called ‘Marmelo’ hence the name marmalade which was originally quince jam!).


2 lbs quinces (or there abouts) - 1.5 pints of water - 3 lbs sugar

(These are approximate quantities.)

Peel and slice the quinces (lose the core). Add them to a pan with the water. Simmer very gently until the quinces are very soft. Mash them up a little — up to you. Add the sugar, stir till it’s dissolved and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, stirring constantly. Let it cool and then divide up into sterile jars.

There are lots of ways of doing this. I like mine because it is so simple. I suggest you check out some other recipes, some of which will use preservatives to keep them longer. That’s not my way though! Good luck.

Re: Qunice

Do something different make Ratafia! It might take some time but it will get rid of a lot of your produce and you’ll have bragging rights!

Ratafia of Quinces (Adaptation based on recipe from Vincent la Chapelle, The Modern Cook (London: 1733)

After seeding quinces, place in food processor or blender blend to a puree. Put contents into a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth over a bowl and press out as much juice as possible. In heavy bottom pan, Heat and reduce to half, and let it cool. Being cooled, measure two Quarts of Juice and two Quarts of Brandy, 1 to 1. For each of the two Quarts, add ten Ounces of Simple syrup, a Piece of Cinnamon, four Cloves, and three or four Grains of whole white Pepper. Pour into air-tight containers, and put it aside for two or three months. After letting set for several months, strain through cheesecloth several times until it comes out very clear, rebottle and seal, or serve.

Historical Notes: Quinces were originally shipped from the Mediterranean (Portugal, Genoa, Spain and France and were variously known as marmalades, from the Portugeuse “marmelo” - quince). The sweet pastes and jellies of Quinces were for helping the digestion. This was the reason why quince pastes were served after the meal.