What is a quince, you may ask. Well, it is a hard, tart, slightly bitter, and admittedly homely fruit. It is Tunisian in origin, I have been told. Once made into a jam or preserve, it becomes a very tasty condiment. I have chosen to marry it with some hot red pepper to add a little kick to the mix, and the combination is divine.
We have been frantically cooking and baking up a storm for guests this holiday season, and now it is time to relax a bit. Sitting down with a “cuppa” as the Brits say, is a nice way to relax and enjoy the company of your friends and family. With or without biscuits or tea cookies, take a break and start the new year off right and enjoy your tea.
Cheers (and Happy New Year),
It is hard to believe that such a sweet and tasty quince jam could come from this hard, ugly and very tart fruit. But here it is – a jam that you will be proud to serve on anything from biscuits to toast.
Quince and Hot Pepper Preserves
4 fresh red chili peppers, seeded and sliced into thin rings
2 sliced lemons
2 sliced oranges
3 cups sugar
Wash quinces and cut each into 16 wedges. Core and peel, placing peelings in saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the peelings. Add lemon and orange slices and bring to boil. Simmer until peelings are tender.
Drain, reserving only the liquid. Return liquid to the saucepan. Add quince wedges, peppers, and sugar. Bring to boil and then simmer until quince pieces are tender.
Use slotted spoon to remove fruit from liquid and place fruit in sterilized jelly jars. Continue simmering the liquid until it thickens and reduces by half. Pour over fruit and clean top rim of jars. Place sterilized lids and rings on jars and hand tighten.
In a canning kettle, or large pot with rack on the bottom, boil in hot water bath for 15 minutes.
This quince jam will make four 1/2 pint jars.