Monday, 19 October 2015

Harvest Monday - sort of quince cheese

I haven't been to the plot since Thursday, as I had to work over the whole weekend. So looking back at these pics was quite a surprise at how much has been happening!
Thursday I brought home two more butternuts, they need to ripen a bit more though, one in particular is still a bit green. So I've got them on a shelf in the lean-to where they'll hopefully get a bit of sun. The orange squash was growing in my new hugelkulture bed, and grew up into the buddliea behind - a bit shady so didn't get very big. It's a really weird shape!
At home in the lean-to, some of the sweet peppers are actually quite red! They're on the top shelf so I guess this helped. I have to stand on a stool to reach them /see them properly, hence the nice surprise. I also snipped off my aubergines that only started setting fruit recently, despite the plants growing for the same time as the toms. I think maybe it gets too hot for them earlier in the year )
And I have some toms ripening slowly in there too. The squash is a tiny one from the back garden, I think it was too shady as well.
Yummy peppers. I'm not a huge fan of green peppers so these red ones are a real treat.
Now, this may look like just a splob of veggies but it was soooo tasty - onion, garlic, aub, pepper and toms. It was so good but there was only enough for two portions - the aubs were all picked and used in one day in one meal - better than nothing though. Mmmmm.
In the back garden I picked all the borlotti beans - more that I thought! I then separated them into flat pods ( for eating like runner beans) and swollen ones for podding.

Some went into a stewey thing

Not my own kale though, I must admit
We had a long walk on Sunday up on the coast and fancied a hearty meal in the evening. Jan took charge to make a hotpot, with squash

All my own veggies, yum

With cheesey wedges she made too (Alas, not my kale again, I got a huge bag from the organic veg stall on the market). Jan took the pics too, you can tell cos she's much more arty than me.
Tonight I picked another pepper
Which we had with scrambled eggs and some leftover hotpot filling mixed in (we'd had most of the leftovers for lunch - very filling, and weighed a lot too, my work bag was very heavy!)
On my day off last week I decided to make quince cheese. It started off okay but didn't end that well! I used a recipe from The River Cottage preserves book

The lovely quinces (from my friend's mum's garden)
Give them a wash, chop 'em all up and just cover with water

Cook them up until nice and soft, then leave for a few hours. I then also mashed them against the side of a the pan with a spoon
Then push through a sieve to get out the juice and small particles (if this was for a jelly you'd strain only the liquid off)
Next, weigh the liquid, place back in a clean pan and add an equal weight of sugar (for me this was about 1.5kg). Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour until thickened, then pot-up.
So, all was going okay until the very end, when instead of scooping off the scum (aerated liquid) I decided to splop it all in the jars and then scoop it out (which had worked when I recently made elderberry and apple jelly). But because the mixture was much thicker than for a jelly, some of the scum didn't float to the top and settled itself at the bottom. Sigh! And it started setting quite quickly so I couldn't scoop it all out. This means all but one of the jars have bubbly bits in.
You can see a bit in the pic below. The rest of the jars were too embarrassing so I turned them round for the photo! The bowl has the scum inthat I did manage to scoop off, which I added as a sweetener to a huge pan of stewed fruit, rather than waste it.

So I was a bit disappointed in the end with those. I don't think they're good enough to give away as proper presents. Ho hum. I also feel a bit like I wasted them - the pure quince juice actually had a really nice flavour on its own, so didn't need loads of sugar to make something tasty. Next time (probably next year) I think I'll just use quince for mixed fruit (it's quite a hard fruit so would need cooking first before adding softer fruit like apples).

Oh also, if you're making a proper quince cheese you might do it in smaller portions or in a tray, to slice and have with real cheese or meat (if you eat meat). But I just put mine in jars.

That's been my fruit and veggie week!

Linking in with Harvest Monday with Dave at Our Happy Acres


  1. Such beautiful harvests for this time of year - especially those tomatoes and peppers. I didn't harvest any red this past week, although I did get a couple of yellow hot wax peppers, so that's something at least. I know what you mean about green peppers - I'm not a fan of them when they are raw, but do quite enjoy them when roasted.

    1. Thanks Margaret. Oh yep green peppers are definitely nicer roasted.

  2. Nice looking peppers! I had lots, but they were very thin-walled peppers, so not sure if I've quite got the handle on them yet.

    1. Thanks Susie, I'm not sure what variety these are as I bought them as teeny plants with no proper info, but maybe the variety makes a difference to wall thickness? I didn't do anything special with these, they had the same compost mix as the toms and aubs (a bit of bought compost, my own compost, well-rotted horse poo ). I didn't even feed any of my toms or peppers this year, I think the horse poo helped!

  3. Peppers that actually went red, well done! We had quince and apple crumble to use some of ours yesterday we do have rather a lot of quinces. I didn't expect the quince cheese to turn out that colour I was expecting something more orange.

    1. Thanks sue. Well, I think the red colour came out of my wooden spoon which had been stained by elderberries and blackberries, The spoon is nearly back to its normal colour!

  4. I don't think I've ever tasted quince or anything made from them. Making the quince cheese sounds like an interesting process! The borlotti beans are lovely too.