Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Quinces are such lovely things - I can't sing their praises enough and am so lucky to have a large quince tree in our garden. Their vanilla scent fills the kitchen. As soon as they are ripe and loose their fir, I gather them in and preserving them in every way I know how. We are now reaping the benefits in these wintery months with quincemeat cake, crumble and baked apples stuffed with quincemeat. Luckily I don't think I would ever tired of eating quince.
My most popular recipe is quince brandy - a lovely deep nectar drink that tastes like nothing else I know. I make litres of this every year and it never seems to last long enough.
Take a sterilised 2 litre kilner jar, or something similar with a tight fitting lid. In the jar place 6 cups of coursly grated quince and 2 cups of caster sugar. Add in 3 large cinnamon stick and 20 cloves. Pour over 1 litre of vodka - I have tried many different types (!) and find Smirnoff Red Label gives the smoothest finish. Top up the jar with water and seal. Put the jar somewhere warm and sunny and shake every day for two weeks so that the sugar dissolves. The liquid will turn a darm golden colour. Then leave the mixture to sit for a further two weeks. Strain through muslin and put into sterilised bottles - it is ready to drink immediately and is truly delicious!


Anonymous said...

Gosh, this sounds wonderful - I am off to buy everything to start now! I can't wait to taste this one. Thank you!

jennyb said...

i have 2 quince sitting on my kitchen window sill that i bought in the covered market in oxford last week. i have previously attempted to cook them and make them blsuh as they are famous for but haven't suceeded. being that you have a tree in your garden (mine i discovered is the ornamental variety, despite producing fruit!) i'm sure you've had lots of practice.

is there a low sugar (diabetic in the family!) way to poach/roast/bake them to make them "blush"?

M said...

Hi Hannah,

what an amazing recipe for quince brandy. Definitely on my list for next autumn, thank you very much.

Zeon said...

I've posted your recipe and article in my myspace group for Quince Enthusiasts Worldwide and cited you properly. I've just planted my own Quince Tree and cannot wait to make this recipe especially. That will get me ready to make my own moonshine! ;) I hope you can take the time to check out the site and give it your approval. If any probs let me know, but if you have your own myspace, please become a member.



Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah

Can you tell me if the fruit from an ornamental quince (Japonica) are suitable for Quince Brandy. I have a lovely ornamental shrub that produces tons of fruit each year but I don't know if they're suitable for culinary use?