We were on our way down to the market garden to pick a lettuce and some rocket for dinner when we detoured to see if there were any quinces on the tree in the top orchard. There were so we stayed to pick them. This was at my daughter K’s place. A couple of quinces were too high for me to reach so I had the bright idea that if I lifted my granddaughter J up she’d be able to pick the fruit. That didn't work: although she’s slightly built she was still way too heavy for me to lift very high. In the end K clambered up into the fork of the tree and got them that way.
The next day I began the process of making quince jelly.
After wiping them down, I cut 2 kilograms of the quinces into pieces, including the skin and cores, and put them into a pot with 2 litres of water.
I brought this slowly to the boil, and then simmered it, covered, for about an hour until the fruit was tender.
Then I needed a potato masher but couldn’t find one anywhere.
‘Try the sandpit,’ K said. It took me a few minutes of searching among all the buckets and spades, pots and pans, toy cars and Barbies, but eventually there it was.
I had to boil the kettle to pour boiling water over a muslin square for the next step so I poured some over the potato masher when I’d washed that too. While I mashed the fruit, K pegged the cloth over a pot and I poured the pulpy mixture into that.
That was the end of my involvement. Farmdoc and I left the next day so K finished making the quince jelly on her own.
She first added ¼ cup of lemon juice, and then a cup of warmed sugar for each cup of liquid, and after that she used her normal jam making method.
The only difference she found was that when she skimmed the scum off the top, the jelly was less forgiving than jam as there’s nowhere to hide anything.