I am not an impulse buyer. I stew, evaluate, and compare. Yet, somehow, I came home last week (or, more accurately, my boyfriend did… he’s the one who carried them) with a box of 15+ pounds of quince that I certainly hadn’t planned to buy.
This was far from a rash decision though, I’d say the stars aligned. The price was right; these local Red Jacket Orchards quince were half the cost of what I’ve paid elsewhere this season. We were at our neighborhood greenmarket and I had my quince-carrier in tow, making in much easier to answer the city-dwellers age-old dilemma: how the heck am I going to get this home? Finally, most importantly, I adore quince. They’re an endearing mix of intoxicating floral scent and pre-historic good looks.
I am the first one to dress up jams, preserves, and butters with fancy flavors, but the flavor of quince is so striking that I let it stand alone here. This recipe comes from the Lane County extension, a fantastic resource on food preservation. Do check out their guide to making and canning fruit butters, which I used here. I didn’t end up canning mine because I was mid-dinner preparation when it finished cooking (of course!), but Lane County has directions on how you could put up quince butter.
- 3lb quince (for 4 cups pulp)
- 2 cups sugar
- to taste lemon juice
- as needed water
- Wash the quince, rubbing them as you wash to remove their fur.
- Remove the stem and blossom ends. Core the quince and remove any gritty parts.
- Place them in a large pot with half as much water as fruit.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook until the quince can be pierced easily with a fork.
- Run through a food mill and measure 4 cups pulp. Return to high heat and add sugar and lemon juice.
- Once mixture boils, reduce the heat to very low and cook until the mixture no longer weeps juice around its edges when placed on a plate or until it mounds slightly on a spoon.
- Store in the fridge.
- Julia over at What Julia Ate made a super-helpful video about cutting quince. Definitely heed what she says about removing those little white parts. Even for a butter, which typically utilizes the whole fruit, I found the fruit surrounding the core to be a bit gritty so you’ll definitely want to leave them out here.
- Makes about 3 half-pints.