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Monday, December 9, 2013

Quince Spread

I am in love with a fruit! Every year I wait for fall to come and bring along my precious quinces. Have you met them?

The Magical Quince

Oh, that is so formal and stuffy. Let's try that again.

Meet the Quinces
Hi, Mr. Grumpy Pants! I almost forgot to make one grumpy but Mr. Wing-It reminded me!

Better! Those of you who have never tried this magical fruit might be wondering what they taste like. They are hard and dry and not tasty at all when raw, but cook them down and throw some sugar at them and they will become the most delicious spread (or paste) ever. It's a unique flavor that I really don't think I can describe accurately. If you really push me to describe it, I would say that it could be a cross between an apple and a pear, with its own distinctive flavor mixed in. I never bother making a traditional firm quince paste because I actually prefer it in a more spreadable form. This is the recipe that I use, but I stop at step six and call it a day. My ideal consistency happens at around 45 minutes into the cooking, which yields a firm yet easily spreadable... spread. Mr. Wing-It likes a firm, more sliceable paste which takes an extra 15 minutes or so.

Quince Spread

It's ridiculously delicious sandwiched in a warm biscuit with a little Earth Balance.

Quince Spread

If you can't be bothered to make traditionally round biscuits, quince spread tastes just as good on lazy rectangular ones! :)

Quince Spread

Our grocery store used to bring in quinces in November, but a few years ago they stopped carrying them because I think I was the only one buying them. Then I looked all over town trying to find *my precious* but no other grocery stores or markets had them. I was sad and quinceless for a few autumns, until one day I decided to look in an unlikely place: Walmart! They had them! At Walmart! WTF?! (What the fruit?!) Now I buy them there every year, even though the cashiers rarely know what they are. The cashiers have entered them as Asian pears, apples, green grapes (really!) and "unique fruit". The latter was the most accurate, because they are unique indeed!

If you have never had quince spread or paste, you are missing out on one of the most amazing foods in the entire universe and I urge you to make it your life's mission to degust this awesomeness - now you can't say I've never done anything for you. Recipe!

But enough of my fruity obsession. Today's cute is kind of sad. Remember the splashing, somersaulting geese from last week's post? Well, the lake is frozen and fun time is over. Poor little fellers.

No more water somersaults
Hazy and blurry. Sorry!

22 comments :

  1. Oddly enough, I've never tried quinces. Now I DEFINITELY want to try this fruit!

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    1. Oh, you must! Your life will never be the same again after you meet Mr. Quince! :)

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    1. It really is an amazing spread. It kicks all other fruit-spreads' butts. Too bad quinces are so hard to find!

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  3. I have never tried quinces either. I will keep an eye out for them! You have me intrigued! (I love the grumpy quince. Angry cute things are the best.)

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    1. I hope you can find them somewhere, Cadry! Angry cute things really are the best - the angrier they get the cuter they look! :D

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  4. I'm half spanish so I've known about 'membrillo' since I was a kid - but then I ate it with Manchego cheese. Now, being vegan, I would love to eat it with a scone or with the biscuits that are in your picture - they look so delicious (is it a cookbook recipe, or did you made up the recipe?)!

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    1. I'm so sorry I missed your comment yesterday, Yvonne! I don't have a super official recipe for my biscuits, but I will tell you how I make them here until I can make a proper blog post with a more detailed recipe.

      For four biscuits, you will need one cup of all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix all these ingredients in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of vegan butter (I use Earth Balance). Now the butter needs to be incorporated into the flour, and to do that I just mash it in with a large fork until the flour/butter mixture resembles cornmeal. I usually leave just a few larger bits of butter unmashed too. Now you add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of almond milk and mix it in until a dough is formed.

      At this point, normal people would roll out the dough on a floured surface and then cut out the biscuits with a round cookie cutter, but I'm too lazy for that and I just take four chunks of dough with my hands and shape each one into a disc. Bake at 450 for about 14 minutes and you're done! I don't usually grease the baking sheet because I want the biscuits to rise up and not spread to the sides.

      I hope that helps! :)

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  5. Poor lil' frozen geese!

    In other news, the quince paste looks awesome! I've only tried quince once or twice but they are pretty rad. Hooray for Walmart carrying them for you!

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    1. I couldn't believe it when I saw them at Walmart! It was a nice surprise indeed! :)

      The lake is only partially frozen today, so the geese are happy again!

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  6. I don't believe I've ever had a quince. Maybe I just didn't notice them in the stores, or maybe I thought they were grapes (like at Walmart). :) Now I feel like I really have to find some so I can make quince jam and biscuits. But, is it already too late? BTW, if you really want to confuse the cashiers, buy a celery root.

    Maybe the geese aren't sad. Maybe they think it's fun to walk on water. I think it's sad, though.

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    1. Now I can't wait to buy a celery root! Mwahaha!

      We need to start a campaign to get quince into more grocery stores. Let us eat quince spread!

      I should make a video of the geese walking on ice now!

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  7. I have seen and heard of quince spread yet I've never had either and I pride myself on finding and trying all manner of new produce. I should really get on this, shouldn't I?

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    1. Yes, you really should! They should still be available for another week or two, but if you miss them you can always buy the prepared quince paste or spread on the interwebs. Mr. Wing-It used to buy it for me for Christmas when I couldn't find quinces to make my own spread. He's a keeper.

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  8. Thank you so much for the biscuit recipe! I can't get Earth Balance here, so I will try to make them with coconut oil. But, like you have experienced with the "festive almond kisses", I'll probably get a different result than with the Earth Balance. Thanks again for making this blog with all those delicious recipes!

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    1. You're welcome, Yvonne! Now you have inspired me to try the biscuits with coconut oil instead of Earth Balance. I will blog about them soon! Let me know if you make them with coconut oil and then we can compare notes :)

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  9. Hi River, I finally made the biscuits exactly as you wrote in your comment, but using coconut oil; they were completely delicious! I will use your recipe from now on (with the coconut oil) and maybe I'll try adding some nuts or seeds or maybe fresh/dried herbs or spices when I'm in the mood to change the flavor or texture a bit. But I'm not sure if I dare to experiment because this basic recipe just tastes so good! Thanks again, River.
    By the way, the anise-pine nut cookies you posted a few days ago: I made these (with the pine nuts) a few years ago and agree with you that they are moorish!

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    1. YAY! I'm so glad the biscuits were a success! Thanks for letting me know, Yvonne! I bet they would be awesome with some herbs thrown in there. Ooh! A nice hot soup and herbed biscuits! :)

      Have you ever tried making coconut oil "butter"? I've been meaning to make some for ages but for some reason I keep postponing it. It would probably be divine melted over some hot biscuits! Here's the recipe I hope to try soon: http://luminousvegans.com/2013/11/12/homemade-vegan-butter-miyoko/

      Aren't those cookies amazing? I'm so glad I finally found a recipe that is not afraid to use plenty of anise. Maybe next time I will make half with pine nuts for me and half without them for Mr. Wing-It.

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  10. Hi River, best wishes for 2014! Here in the Netherlands (I'm half spanish (my mother is spanish) living in the Netherlands) we don't have the tradition of eating black eyed beans (I think most dutch people don't know about the existance of those beans!) for luck in the new year; people just drink champain and eat 'oliebollen' (a fried ball of dough with a lot of powdered sugar on it). In Spain (where my family lives) they eat a grape at every strike of the clock at midnight (so twelve grapes) and that what we like to do here at my home.
    You asked me about the butter of Miyoko: I would love to try the recipe but I would have to search for the lecithin and buy the refined coconut oil (I only have the unrefined kind) - I didn't do that yet. I admire the people who have made the cheeses from that book because you have to be patient as most recipes take a few days to make. And cashew nuts are pricy and some ingredients are difficult to find.
    But I really want to make that butter and some cheese because not only Earth Balance isn't available here but the vegan cheeses they sell in the ecological food stores taste awfull - I really can't eat them!

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    1. I am dedicating today's blog post to you and I came to see if I had spelled your name correctly only to find that I had missed this comment! I'm sorry, Yvonne! It's not like I get hundreds of comments a day - I should be able to keep up easily!

      Anyway, Mr. Wing-It would love to participate in the grape-eating New Year's traditions because he LOVES grapes. He might sneak in more than twelve grapes though - would his gluttony bring him bad luck for the new year? :D

      Cashews are so expensive. I wish they could be easily replaced with a more affordable nut or seed. Sometimes sunflower seeds are an adequate substitute, but sometimes nothing can replace those delicious, expensive, pesky cashews.

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  11. I haven't even got a blog and I didn't notice your reply on this comment of mine, so please don't apologize! It must take a lot of time and effort to develop a recipe, write a post about it and then also respond to all the comments - I think it's highly admirable!
    I think it would give someone bad luck to try to eat more than one grape at each of the twelve strikes of the clock - one would choke!
    I saw the comment Mihl left at your post of the coconut oil shortbread cookies about using powdered sugar; I also had this substitution in my mind because I had seen it in many shortbread recipes; now we could call them 'River, Mihl, Yvonne-cookies'!

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    1. Thanks, Yvonne! I do try to reply to all the comments. Sometimes comments on older posts get caught by the spam filter. I don't like having a spam filter but whenever I turn it off, all the spammers start bombarding me with their annoying advertisements and whatnot.

      I will make the shortbread with powdered sugar next time too. It's my favorite cookie so it probably won't be too long before I make it again. I like the name of the cookies! Team work! :D

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