I was recently given some enormous, if somewhat bruised, windfall quinces. So as a great lover of cheese I decided to make some quince jelly, sometimes known as quince cheese. Suffice to say as soon as I wanted to make the jelly I couldn’t find a recipe. Then I found buried amongst all my other cookery books a slim volume called WI Book of Jams and other preserves written by Pat Hesketh and published in 1984. It has over 100 recipes tried and tested by the women’s institute.
So I turn to the page for Quince Cheese, on the same and facing page were recipes for cumberland rum butter, apple butter, marrow orange cream and bramble cheese. Fruit butters are a softer consistency than cheeses and are usually spiced and should be hermetically sealed. They are usually served as a spread. Cheeses are cooked to a stiff consistency and set in small moulds so that they can be turned out for serving and cut into wedges.
500g quinces chopped into roughly 1cm pieces
- Wash the quinces and cut up into pieces
- Place in a pan and barely cover with water.
- Cover and cook until reduced to a pulp.
- Pour through a sieve and weigh the liquid. (discard what is left in the sieve).To each 500g of liquid add 500g of sugar.
- Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar.
- Continue cooking until a thick consistency is obtained.
- When a spoon is drawn across the base of the pan, it should leave a clean line.
- Pour into prepared moulds. I used small glass pots used for ‘Gu’.
- Make some fabric tops by cutting out circles with pinking shears.