Quince is a bit like the ugly duckling in Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale. Not very pretty to look at, covered with a peach-like fuzz and inedible raw. The uncooked flesh is very hard and astringent. But all this ugliness more than makes up for the golden color and the incredible fragrance of ripe quince. Cooked, it becomes deliciously sweet. Most grocery stores don’t carry them here in the US. Luckily, there is a small family farm near my home where I can buy them. So if you see them at a store, buy some!
Quince fresh from the tree!
I grew up eating quince jelly, and whatever else my grandmother created with them. The fruit is popular in Europe, so when my sister Gabi mentioned her homemade quince liqueur, I knew that I had to try it. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was delighted with the end result. Check out other quince creations here . Missy wrote a great post last fall on how to use quince in cooking, which turns the fruit sweet and tender. The quince I used in the liqueur was not edible after infusing the vodka. The alcohol simply extracted all the flavor and golden color.
Gabi used Kandiszucker in her recipe. I did some research and came up with a substitute for it in the US. Teavana sells a type of rock sugar which tastes less sweet than regular sugar in my opinion. It is also available on Amazon. According to them, this sweetener is made from beets and imported from Germany. I really like this stuff and will use it for some other liqueur projects this summer.
Here’s the recipe:
- 2 pounds of ripe quince
- 3/4 of a 1 pound bag of Teavana Perfectea rock sugar
- 1 quart good quality vodka
Wash the quince well and dry them with a paper towel.
Watch your fingers while you chop.
The fruit is very hard and a knife can easily slip and cut you!
Cut the entire fruit into small chunks, including the peels and cores.
Put the fruit into a large enough sealable clean glass jar.
Add the rock sugar and mix it.
Pour the vodka over the fruit, seal the jar and shake it up.
Let it sit in a dark, cool place for 6 weeks.
Whenever you remember, shake the container.
After 6 weeks, strain the liqueur through a paper filter.
Store in a glass bottle and enjoy!