By Joyce Corson
My friend Bonnie Albert, discovered a tree covered with golden fruit this past September. Neither she or husband Gene knew they had any fruit trees, except a cherry, and it became a mystery. They had recently moved to their new home which had many flowers, trees and shrubs. In the process of developing a vegetable garden, they cut down two large aging evergreen trees and it did give the landscape a new look especially a lot of sunlight. Together with daughter-in-law Mary, they researched and discovered it was a quince tree.
While visiting their garden in October, Bonnie said to me, “Do you know what this is?” handing me a quince. I did remember hearing ‘the older people’ talk about the quince fruit, Cydonia oblonga, a pome fruit similar in appearance to a pear and apple combination, bright golden-yellow when mature. Happy to have found a renewed memory from years gone by and an interest in the apple from a story of Thoreau, Wild Apples, I checked on the origin and took notice that Greeks found quince growing in the city of Cydon but it has since been hybridized to grow in a northern climate. If you don’t have a quince tree to see the fruit, I have found it at Wal-Mart to look at or buy.
Mary and Bonnie shared this quince-cranberry recipe with me and we had the sauce for Thanksgiving dinner. We gave thanks for the sunlight on the tree, which helped produce this fruit.
The sauce is best as a jam served on hot toast, or an amendment to turkey, ham or on vanilla ice cream! It can be served hot or cold, and does add zest to your taste buds!
With cranberries it adds the perfect combination for the holiday season. The tree produces the fruit in the fall, cranberries are only available at that time as well.
Quince Cranberry Sauce
1 and 3⁄4 pounds of quince or 2 large
4 C water,1 1⁄2 cups sugar
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
- Peal, if you don’t have a food mill, quarter and core quince, remove and save seeds to grow new trees. Cut quince into 1/2” squares
- Bring water and sugar to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved..
- Add quince and simmer partially covered until quince is tender. Approximately 1 and 1/2 hours, or longer. Content will be pinkish and thick.
- Drain and reserve liquid.
- Mash soft quince or puree quince in food mill if quince was not peeled.
- Add cranberries, puree to liquid and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst , 8 – 10 minutes. The sauce is now complete.
Cranberry quince sauce can be made 3 days ahead and chilled in an airtight container. Sauce may be canned using water bath method of preservation. Enjoy through the year or use in Christmas packages for friends and relatives.