Cardamom-Spiced Apple-Quince Butter
A while back I asked if anyone thought there'd be any problem mixing some quinces into my apple butter. Based on your encouragement, I did and wanted to share the resultant recipe which a friend and I came up with. This one is a work-in-progress (I'm thinking of making a slightly lower sugar batch this week and will let you know if it's an improvement) but here's the recipe thus far:
6 medium apples (any kind will do, though I like a variety)
4 ripe quinces
2 c. apple juice
1/2 c. white sugar (will try 1/4 c. next time; didn't use brown b/c the quince has a nice buttery color I wanted to preserve)
1/2 t. cardamom
wash, peel, and chop apples and quinces
place in heavy pot and add juice
cook uncovered over medium/medium-high heat until fruit has few chunks and most liquid is gone; at this point, we buzzed it with an immersion blender and let it cook a bit more until a spoon drawn through it left a furrow--seemed easier than the food mill and worked well
mix in sugar and cardamom
Please let me know if you try this or if you have any suggestions for changes, additions or uses of the finished product.
What about the quince peels? The quince paste recipe in the Silver Spoon cookbook just says to leave the skin on, while others suggest removing it. I peeled them and then threw the skins in, planning to remove them if they tasted too tanic or tough. I ended up fishing them out and making a separate paste with the cooked skins, which was perfectly fine.
Maybe it's question of whether or not your quince are organic to start and you're trying to avoid wax and fungicides in the finished product... mine were organic, which meant I had to cut out all kinds of worm dammage from the flesh.
The peels and cores are apparently where most of the pectin is. So if you want the recipe to gel and set, you want to include them. Some recipes say to peel and core the quinces and put those bits into a muslin bag to make removal easier. Some say to cook the quinces first and then peel and core, since it's easier to do when they're soft.
Thanks for that recipe, Procrastibaker, and for responding to my quince query! I still haven't decided what to do, but I'm thinking of a quince butter, jam, or chutney, which sounds a lot easier than a jelly!
The person who gave me the quinces is gluten-free, so it's harder than I thought to come up with something that I could bring into the office for her to share. Ideally, I'd like to make a cake of some sort, but no flour. Will report back...