Quince candy and Happy New Year!

Is it too late to wish you a Happy New Year? A wonderful 2009 for all my readers!

It has been kind of obvious that I haven’t been around that much last month. Preparing for the Holidays and the Holidays itself were pretty intense, multiply that with the times my youngest son wakes up in the middle of the night and my pregnancy (did I mention we’ll be having yet another son…hoping for a daughter didn’t help one bit 😉 and you’ll get an idea how beat I am. I haven’t even posted about the other Christmas desserts and treats I made besides the panforte senese. Beeing so busy I didn’t have the time and/or right light to make a lot of good pictures. Luckily the pictures for these quinces candies were ok.

I call them quince candy but it is known under lots of local names: membrillo, cotignac, kotonjata/sir od dunja to name a few. It’s pretty much boils down to (no pun intended 😉 making a very stiff jam made of quinces. Very easy to make, healthy (if you don’t count all the sugar ;), beautiful in colour and a wonderful gift for friends. Will be making those more often during quince season.

Besides these quince treats and the panforte I also served two type of almonds cookies, blood orange salad with pear sorbet and an Italian cheese platter for Christmas dessert. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to finish the Daring Bakers entremet in time to serve as well. There was more than enough so I didn’t mind that much.

(sorry about the blurry picture)

I made two kinds of almonds cookies because I was looking for a recipe that would come close to amaretti di Saronno. I thought I found a recipe in an old cookbook by Artusi but those turned out to be something I like to call ‘accidental macarons’.

Even though the recipe didn’t even call for confectioners sugar they had the appearence of macarons (only appearance because I dried them out so they were meringue like). They turned out delicious but not as pretty and even as I hoped. I didn’t even want to serve them for dessert but I failed making nougat twice and I had to fill my etagère with something so I used them anyway 😉 They turned out to be one of the favourites 🙂

The other almond cookies had honey and cinnamon besides almonds, sugar and egg whites. They were chewy and a tad bitter (but good) due to the the 10% bitter almonds I used and maybe also because of the honey.

This last picture is the care package I for the family to take home after the Christmas dinner. It contained panforte, quince candy, winter tea, pandolce and almond cookies.

Quince candy (adapted from here)

4 quinces, cored, peeled and quartered (add a little lemon juice against colouring)

… g sugar (same weight as the cooked quinces)

lemon juice to taste (I used 4 tbs for about 1 kg of quinces)

granulated sugar for coating (optional)

Cover the quinces with water. Boil until tender (about 20-30 minutes). Drain and weight the quinces. Add the same weight in sugar. Add lemon juice and cook for 1-2 hours, stirring in between. Mixture should thicken and turn orange. A wooden spoon drawn through the bottom of the pot leaves a track.

Meanwhile prepare a sheet pan or something by covering the bottom with baking paper. Pour or scoop the quince mixture into the prepared pan and spread it out. Top with another piece of baking paper in order to make an even smoother surface. Allow to cool and set.

Cut into desired shape. Allow to dry for a day or more until dry(ish) to the touch.

Roll in granulated sugar for a more candy-like appearance.

Will keep for a long time.

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22 Responses to Quince candy and Happy New Year!

  1. Rosa says:

    What gorgeous treats! I love Quince Candy and yours look incredibly good!



  2. Everything looks so lovely 🙂 We have something that is the same as the quince jam but we use guava 🙂

  3. it was great, thanks again 🙂

  4. The little almond cokies really do look like macarrons! And the quince squares bring back so many memories! Everyone used to eat that as a morning snack at schol when I was little! They’re perfect!

  5. wow what a nice package you made. Homemade gifts are the best. These really look delicious 🙂

  6. indosungod says:

    Happy New Year! to you.

    the quince candies look lovely. Can any other fruit substitute for quince. I bet the color won’t be as gorgeous but.

  7. grace says:

    what a pretty, delicate, and all-around delightful treat!

  8. courtney says:

    Oh wow. You were busy. What beautiful gift baskets you made. I love the sounf of quince candies. Happy New Year.

  9. I love those quince candy! I’ve only had quince once and that was in London. Very lovely.

    You’ve been a baking. Now aren’t you glad you put out the tasty if not perfect ones . . . sometimes we get surprised.

    Happy New Year Linda.

  10. Y says:

    What a great looking care package. Happy New Year to you and your family, Linda! 🙂

  11. Lien says:

    I love quince candy, made it myself once too, very nice. It’s hard to buy Quinces here, but sometimes I’m lucky.You made some very special gifts!

  12. Astrid says:

    Wow, what a lot of yummy goodies you prepared! And what a charming care package. Your guests must have been delighted!

    So three boys, eh? We have three girls… I sometimes feel sad that I’ll never know what it’s like to have a boy, but there is a kind of solidarity between sisters that might not have happened if the two sexes had been represented.

    But I envy my sisters-in-law whose sons are now strapping teenagers towering over their mothers. I would be so proud to walk around with tall handsome young boys! Instead I’ll have to hide behind my beautiful daughters!

    Good luck for the last stretch of your pregnancy!

  13. ovenhaven says:

    I love the care package! I hope you’ve been well, dearie. No worries about catching up with the updates, just take care of yourself, and the lil one 🙂

    Oh, and I must say that blood orange salad with pear sorbet sounds absolutely delish!

  14. Hannah says:

    Happy new year, Linda!

    Those quince candies look so good… and I’ve never even had a quince before! Hopefully I’ll finally be able to hunt them down this year and make these though.

  15. My goodness you’ve got a lot going on! Happy New Year to you too. No way… it’s not too late. Your candies and cookie basket look just divine! Hope 2009 brings you loads of joy and smiles!

  16. Dee says:

    Accidental macarons, LOL. I make accidental amaretti when I attempt macarons 😦 Your spread is seriously delish! I’m so impressed with how you manage your life (I’m such a moaner these days… no time, no time), and I gotta learn from you.

    I’ve never had quince, and so have no idea if they’re citrusy or sweet or bitter. Sigh. Looks good, though 🙂

    And it’s never too late for a Happy New Year!

  17. natalia says:

    I would have loved to have such a package !! Happy new year to you and your family !!

  18. octávio says:

    Boa tarde,

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  19. Bret says:

    What beautiful quince fruit pâtes. I’ve got to make these while I can still find quince.

    Happy New Year!

  20. Vera says:

    I’m wondering how did you find time to make all these delicious treats, Linda?!

  21. aran says:

    such an amazing assortment of goodies linda! beautiful candies! happy new year to you too!

  22. Jude says:

    Oooh is the quince candy the same as a pate de fruit? Been meaning to make something like this with other fruits.

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