[Sca-cooks] Quince Query

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Thu Oct 8 22:49:01 PDT 2009

I've been experimenting with the quinces from our tree, and decided 
this evening to try a quince paste recipe-"To make condomacke of 
quinces" from Dawson's _Good Husswife's Jewel_. The recipe tells you 
to peel, core and cut up your quinces, then boil them in a mixture of 
wine and water "until they bee tender." After which:

" then thake a peece of fine cavas & put your quinces and liquor in 
it, and when your sirrope is all runne through, put in so much fine 
suger as will make it sweete, and set it over a quicke fire againe, 
surring with a sticke til it be so thicke that a drop will stand upon 
a dish, then take it from the fire and put it in boxes."

My initial assumption was that you were straining out the liquid, 
then sweetening and cooking down the semi-solid quince mush that 
remained. But it's hard to fit that with "til it be so thicke that a 
drop will stand upon a dish," since a drop of the mush will stand 
upon a dish even before you cook it down.

That suggests an alternative interpretation--that it is the liquid, 
not the solid, that you sweeten and cook down, relying on the pectin 
from the quince cooked in it to eventually jell it.

Not knowing which interpretation is correct, I'm trying both. I 
cooked the mush down for about half an hour than boxed it; the liquid 
is still simmering.

A third possible interpretation is that you aren't draining the 
liquid but passing the mush through a strainer--"fine canvas" that is 
sufficiently loosely woven so that the cooked quince, perhaps cooked 
longer than the hour I boiled it for, can be forced through. On that 
theory, you end up using both liquid and solid together.

Can someone more familiar than I am with nouvelle cuisine enlighten 
me as to which of my guesses, or what other interpretation that I 
haven't thought of, is most likely?

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