Quinces: harvesting and processing


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Quinces (Cydonia oblonga) are among the oldest cultivated fruits ever. The Babylonians cultivated this fruit as early as 6,000 years ago. Even today, there are the most varieties in the region around Iran and the Caucasus. But in our gardens, the quince has become just as homely, is often harvested and processed into delicious and healthy dishes.

The bright yellow quinces smell so beguiling that they would most like to eat directly from the tree. But that's not a good idea: Raw quince are not exactly a culinary treat, hard and bitter as they are. However, as a nutmeg, jelly or compote, they make so many a gourmet's heart beat faster. In addition, there is more vitamin C in a quince than in an apple - and many more health-promoting substances, which made the quince from time immemorial also interesting for the medical science.

The perfect harvest time for quince

At the quince harvest the right time is crucial. They only mature in October, but they have to be harvested before the first frost. The sometimes very hard fruits can even ripen inside. In terms of color, you recognize the ripeness of the complete coloration of the fruits and the fact that they lose their thick, fluffy fur. If you want to process the quince into jam or jelly, you should harvest it earlier. At the beginning of maturity, its pectin content, ie its gelling ability, is highest.

Tips for storing quince

The early harvested quinces can be stored for about two to four weeks in the basement or in another cool place. In this time they unfold their full aroma. Fully ripe fruits, however, should be processed directly. In the best case store the quinces alone, because their intense flavors can spread to surrounding fruits and spoil them under certain circumstances.

This is the best way to process quinces

Before you process the fruit, rub the remaining soft fur on the bowl with kitchen paper. It distorts the taste. For most recipes, quinces are not peeled. If you do it anyway - do not throw the bowls away! Dried, they smell heavenly and work well in herbal tea blends.

Use quinces in the kitchen

Due to their high concentration of pectin, quinces gelled especially well. Roughly cut, the hard fruits need about 20 to 30 minutes to be cooked. They are most commonly used to compote, jelly, jam (the Portuguese name for the quince is significantly "marmelo"), sweet must and liqueur. But also baked goods and Co. get by the addition of a small amount of quince a natural sweetness and special culinary touch.

Quittengelee

Every autumn, jams or jellies of fruits from the garden are a pleasure. Especially delicious is quince jelly

Our recipe for quince jelly

  • 1 kg of quince
  • 750 ml of water
  • 500 g jam sugar 1: 1

To taste, you can also add the juice of half or whole lemon and a tablespoon of rum or cognac.
Rub the quince with a kitchen towel to remove the fluff. Remove the flower, stem and seeds, and cut the fruit into small pieces. Then cook in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. To keep things from burning, you should stay close and stir the mixture again and again. When the quinces are cooked soft, let them flow through a coarse sieve. You can use the resulting quince sauce for quince bread, so you do not have to throw it away. Now pass the filtered liquid through a fine-meshed cloth (like a tea towel) to filter out even the last impurities. The remaining, slightly viscous liquid now in a ratio of 1: 1 (1 liter of liquid comes to 1 kilogram gelling sugar) mix and boil four minutes bubbly. Depending on your taste, you can now refine the mus with lemon, rum or cognac. After gelling, place the jelly in clean (preferably hot washed and still warm), airtight jars and cap immediately.
Our tip: You can use the quince jam mentioned in the jelly production for quince bread. In the past, this specialty was often served with Christmas cookies.

Sliced ​​quinces with seeds

Externally obtained from quince seeds "quince mucus" helps with wounds and sunburn, internally with cough, fever, intestinal and gastritis

Quinces in medicine

In addition to a large amount of vitamin C, quinces contain zinc, sodium, iron, copper, manganese, fluorine and a lot of folic acid. In addition, similar to redcurrants, record levels of pectin, which aids digestion, lowers cholesterol and binds and transports pollutants into the body. The contained tannins as well as the vitamin A relieve gout and arteriosclerosis.If you suffer from tiredness or feelings of weakness, you can counteract this with quince products because of the high potassium content.
Particularly noteworthy, however, are the seeds of quince. In them are found mucilages in large numbers. "Quittenschleim" used to be a widespread drug available in pharmacies, which today, perhaps because of the name, has become somewhat out of fashion. The mucus, applied externally, is said to help against sunburn, brittle skin and even inflamed eyes. If one drinks it, it should fight sore throat and bronchitis as well as gastric and intestinal inflammation.

Our recipe for quince slime

  • Uncrushed quince kernels
  • water

Making the old home remedy yourself is child's play: use the quince seeds as they are with water in the ratio 1: 8 and let it stand for 15 minutes. Then simply fill in the resulting mucus and, depending on the symptoms, use it externally or internally.

Video Board: Quince Season.

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