Earlier this afternoon, the low autumn sun was casting beautifully long, mauve shadows across the golden landscape. Whilst my little boy was taking a well deserved nap, I painted a quick oil sketch en plein aire – it was too cold to stay out for long….
Back in the warmth I have been pickling some quinces that were looking a little sad – they now thankfully look a lot happier.
For this recipe I have once again sought direction from Mr Slater. You will need –
750ml cider vinegar
400g golden granulated sugar
3 medium-sized quinces or 4 smaller ones ( I actually used quite a few more, and was a bit more generous with the other ingredients.)
12 juniper berries
8 black peppercorns
a bay leaf
Pour the vinegar into a stainless-steel pan. Add the sugar, berries, peppercorns and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Then turn the heat down and allow to simmer.
Peel, halve and core the quinces, and then slice them lengthways. This is no mean feat – they are devilishly bad-tempered and unyielding to the sharpest of my knives. Once you have finally won the battle, lower the quince into the simmering vinegar and leave the fruit to cook for 15-25 minutes until the slices of quince are soft.
Using a slotted spoon, lift the fruits out of the pan and gently place them into clean storage jars. Pour over the vinegar liquor, seal and leave to cool. They will keep for a few weeks and will hopefully be delicious with cheeses, ham and bread.