Was the forbidden fruit Eve was tempted to bite into not an apple but a quince?
Feb 10, 2021
By Irena Stoimenov-Hueter
This question we leave to the scholars to ponder. What we know for certain, however, is that this ancient, once so popular delicacy has been unjustly neglected in our times. For it has a delightful, sensual fragrance, that infuses perfectly many dishes. Were it possible to distil an essential oil from it, we would be doing it. Fortunately, there are also other ways to capture its flavour and preserve it long after the fruit has been picked.
One of our favourites, a fragrant liqueur, ideal both for sipping at the fireplace in cold winter evenings or in a refreshing sparkling cocktail on hot summer days. Or simply to flavour with it cakes, cookies, pastries and other homemade sweets. In our liqueur, the tart aroma and delicate astringency of the quince provide a subtle contrast to the added sweetness of honey and cinnamon bark essential oil.
Here we share the recipe as long as you still have the chance of grabbing some ripe fruits from a farmers market or if you are one of those lucky enough to have a quince tree in their garden. When choosing the quinces make sure to pick the bright yellow ones as green quinces have less flavour. Since our recipe calls for not discarding the skin, where most of the flavour compounds are concentrated, you’ll need quality organic quinces.
Ingredients for half a litre quince liqueur (cordial):
• 2-4 quinces
• 750 g vodka or gin
• 3 spoonfuls of honey
• 2 drops of Cinnamon bark essential oil
• one 1,5 litre jar
Wash the quince and remove the exterior fuzz with a brush. Do not peel. Remove the seeds. Cut in small pieces. Arrange in the glass. In a bowl, dissolve the honey in vodka or gin by stirring vigorously. Add the cinnamon oil. Top the quince pieces with the liquid filling the jar to within 3cm of the top.
Fasten the lid. Give the jar a shake and allow the flavours to infuse and fully mature for at least two months. Keep the jar in a cool dark place, and give it a shake now and then. When ready, strain the liqueur and keep in a bottle. For additional flavour and colour, you might want to add some dried rose petals and a drop of Rosa Damascena essential oil.