Liven up your Christmas with piquant pickled quince!
November is one of the busiest months of the year here at GG Towers. Outside we’ve been hard at work preparing the nursery for winter, cutting back plants, staking climbers and heeling in next season’s roses in preparation for spring. Indoors, everyone is root wrapping and potting up, preparing a plentiful stock of gorgeous gifts and Growbars ready for the Christmas rush.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, our happy team have been creating a delicious array of colourful condiments with the last windfalls.
Pickles and preserves make excellent Christmas presents (and they’re so much tastier than a pair of socks). This month we’re hooked on this rather delicious pickled quince – it’s ridiculously easy to make and guaranteed to liven up everything from a classic ploughman’s lunch to the traditional Boxing Day cold turkey supper.
We love ancient fruits, especially the knobbly quince, with its delicate perfume and gentle flavour, and we’ve developed a real soft spot for these spicy pickled quince slices.
- 600ml cider vinegar
- 430g granulated sugar
- 4 allspice berries
- 6 pink or black peppercorns
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 kg quince
You’ll also need a large, sterilized preserving jar or 2-3 jam jars.
Place all the ingredients, except the quinces into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat while you prepare the quinces.
Peel, halve and core the quinces, then cut each half into three long slices. Bring the pickling liquid back to a simmer and add the quince slices. Simmer until the fruit is tender, but not mushy, which will take 20-35 minutes, depending on its ripeness. Remove the fruit from the liquid with a slotted spoon and tip into the sterilised jar/s.
Bring the spiced vinegar back to the boil and let it reduce until you have just enough liquid to cover the quince slices in their jars. Seal the jars and keep for up to 12 months.