Saying the quince sauce is made of the leftovers is not a very good advertisement for this delicious preparation. It doesn’t change the fact that this is what I did this weekend with the cooked quince, after the juice has been strained to make the quince jelly (click here to see the details). Since there is hardly any juice left, this sauce is very thick. It can also be prepared of course from the scratch, starting with the raw quince, and skipping the jelly stage. Then it will take a bit more time.
The sauce has a beautiful pale orange hue, a fabulous smell, recalling a very delicate honey, and a slightly tangy taste. It is perfect on toast, as a pie or another pastry filling. Personally I am more impatient to taste this “by-product” than the main, more difficult, famous quince jelly.
If, like me, you have made quince jelly, the sauce preparation will hardly take half an hour (counting from the moment the juice is strained) and, like every fruit sauce, this one requires a food mill.
Special equipment: a food mill
Preparation: 30 minutes (or 1h30 if using raw quince)
2 kg cooked quince, left after the jelly preparation (but weighed before cooking) or 2 kg raw quince
at least 1 kg caster sugar
juice from one lemon
(If using raw quince wash the fruit, scraping the soft hair and cutting off the stems. Cut it rougly in four or more pieces and put them in a big shallow pan. Pour a litre of water, cover the pan and cook it at medium heat until the fruit is well cooked and almost falls into pieces.)
Pass the cooked quince through a food mill, put (with the juice, if you weren’t making the jelly) into a big pan.
Add the lemon juice, the sugar and cook, stirring around 15 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce starts boiling. Taste if the sauce is sweet enough, add more sugar if needed, cook a bit to dissolve it.
(If you weren’t making the quince jelly, pour the lemon juice and cook until the sauce has the required consistency, add the sugar and cook 15 more minutes, then taste and add more sugar if needed, cook a couple of minutes stirring).
/At this point you can either freeze it (after the sauce has cooled down) or keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or process it in the jars, as described below, and store it in your pantry for at least a year!/
Pour the sauce, still hot, into sterilised jars. Cover with lids. Leave the jars to cool.
Place the cool jars in a big pan, bottom lined with an old kitchen towel folded in two (this will prevent the jars from breaking), cover up with hot – but not boiling – water to the level just below the lid. Bring to boil and keep on a very low heat, in simmering water, for around 20 minutes.
Stick on self-adhesive labels, write the name of the sauce and don’t forget to mark the date.