Tells a story


Quince Jelly - In Caroline's kitchen-London

Posted on November 12, 2010 at 10:02 AM
A wedding in Sicily brings me to Paris and London for a few days.  This is what I love about traveling in Europe. Everything is close.  I took the Eurostar from Paris to London, then a tube ride to Baron's Court where my friend Caroline Lives.

I was in London in less than 3 hours despite warnings of a tube strike, which was due to start in London that evening.  My big suitcase stayed in Paris. I love traveling light for a change.   

Caroline's kitchen shelf.  A cook's collection of kitchen essentials

When I am London I find myself hanging out in Caroline's kitchen for hours at a time, catching up with Caroline and Tyler, her son, my step son, and watching her cook. She updates me on their lives, her travels, and the latest cookbook she is working from.  She is a wonderful cook. Her cookbook collection is so large, it's like being in a library.  This time, Tyler was away in Turkey working so I didn't see him but I got to meet his girlfriend Emmalina. That was a treat.  


Hazelnuts from Becavin hanging on the wall

Even though Baron's Court is in London, I feel like I can be in the country when I am at Caroline's house.  It is very rustic -  like an extension of  her country house in Brittany.  In the hallway leading to the kitchen, there is a row of  jars full jams that Caroline made with Quince, Medlar, and Plum trees from her garden.  "I have so many I don't know what to do with them. "Take some home," Caroline offers. I am eyeing for the quince.  My favorite. We had the quince jam with cheeses I brought back from Sicily, and again with toast the next morning. I have never cooked with Quince before but when I get home, I am going to try this Quince jelly recipe that Caroline gave me. 

Caroline's homemade bread. Our mutual friend, Fred, called it Hippie bread. It's whole grain.

Recipe for Quince Jelly:


* 2 lbs of quinces

* 1 lemon (just the juice, sieved)

* white granulated sugar

* water to cover Method:

1. Wash and roughly chop the quinces (no need to peel, decore or depip) and place in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

2. Barely cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently with a lid on until soft. If the quinces are very firm this could take several hours. Check it every now and then and add more water if necessary.

3. Pour the cooked fruit through sterilised muslin into a large clean bucket or bowl The muslin is often referred to as a “jelly bag”. We use tall buckets to catch the drips from the jelly bags. Rather than hang the bags (conventional method-between the legs of an upturned stool) I find it easier to line a large plastic sieve with the muslin. This clips neatly onto the top of a clean bucket. The sieve is covered with a clean tea cloth to protect against flies.

4. Leave the jelly bag to drip overnight (or about 12 hours).

5. Measure the juice the next day.

6. Pour the juice into a deep heavy bottomed saucepan and add 1lb/454g of white granulated sugar for each 1pt/570ml of juice.

7. Add the lemon juice.

8. Heat the juice and sugar gently stirring from time to time, so as to make sure that that all the sugar has dissolved before bringing the liquid slowly to the boil.

9. Continue to boil for about 10 minutes before testing for a set. This is called a rolling boil. Test every 3 to 5 minutes until setting point is reached. (What is testing for a set? See tips and tricks below). Tossing in a nugget of butter towards the end will reduce the frothing that can occur.

Categories: Travel, Pickles and Preserves

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