Quince Paste Anyone familiar with edible flowers may already cook creatively with lavender. This herb is a highly versatile ingredient used since the Middle Ages for meat and dessert dishes, as well as aromatherapy. Lavender pairs well with sweets...
Anyone familiar with edible flowers may already cook creatively with lavender. This herb is a highly versatile ingredient used since the Middle Ages for meat and dessert dishes, as well as aromatherapy. Lavender pairs well with sweets while accentuating bitter citrus flavors. In this recipe, lavender creates a floral version of traditional quince paste, a middle eastern and European delicacy for all seasons, although different versions of it can be found internationally. In France, quince paste is made for the Christmas tradition. Other versions of quince paste have been found in the Philippines and Pakistan as well. Remember, there are many lavender recipes out there, so do your research and experiment as to what tastes best for you.
- 2 lbs. Quinces
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 juiced lemon or 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of lavender florets ( found ready-picked at most middle eastern grocery stores)
- Wash and quarter the quinces.
- Boil or steam the quinces for 20 to 30 minutes until they are very soft. Do not peel or core them. Rub through fine strainer.
- If working with whole lavender plants, pick off florets. Simmer florets on low for five minutes. Turn of heat and let florets sit in water.
- Combine sugar and lemon juice together, diluting with 1/2 cup water to simmer. When liquid has thickened add the strained quince, stirring frequently until the paste is coming off the bottom of the pan when stirred.
- Add your lavender liquid to the concoction, keeping heat lower or turning off, if paste is extremely thick.
- Spread this liquid in a pan, letting it dry for several days in the oven or in an airing cupboard. It can then be cut into squares.
One interesting variation to this recipe could be adding in the florets whole. Another interesting variation to this classic recipe involves pouring one layer of paste, adding a layer of blanched almonds, and then adding another layer of quince paste. Lavender's unique taste makes it a great additive to experiment with in various recipes. However, this quince paste is definitely a sweet, fruity, and floral complement to coffee and tea, so skip the sugar in the drink as this paste really is very sweet!
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