Quince Candy and Syrup

From the story Baking Up a Sweet Career From Scratch by Samantha Nobles-Block

Photo by Marykate McGoldrick

Quince has lots of pectin, which makes this apple-like fruit a natural fit for candy making. Once you get comfortable with the recipe for these sparkly treats, get creative by adding a chopped apple or beet or any other variation that sounds appealing.

The recipe also provides an opportunity to practice food-waste minimization: The quince peels and cores left over from making the candy can be made into a delicious syrup that’s perfect for drizzling over cake or ice cream.

Quince can range widely in size, so you should weigh the puréed quince to determine how much sugar to use.

Yield: at least 4 dozen candies

4 quince
Sugar (75{94d79dd6af1e87a94e700e4c297236468333f22e27ed5757b44711974a9a4b91} of the weight of the puréed quince, plus additional for coating the finished candy)
Juice of 1 lemon

Candy thermometer

Rub the fuzz off the quince, then peel, core, and cut into quarters. (Reserve the cores and peels for making quince syrup.)

Place cut quince in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until fork tender. Drain water (reserving for use in the syrup) and purée the cooked quince until smooth. Weigh your purée, then return it to saucepan and add ¾ of that weight in sugar (for example, 1000 grams purée to 750 grams sugar).

Stir sugar into purée and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly as mixture thickens, 45 minutes to an hour. Be careful when stirring, especially towards the end, as the mixture will sputter. Cook until small bubbles form and the mixture is very thick and deep orange, with a temperature of 225° on the candy thermometer. You can also test by checking whether a mound of the mixture dropped onto a piece of parchment holds its shape.

Stir in the lemon juice and then transfer the cooked purée to a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan lined with parchment, spreading in one even layer. Leave to cool overnight, uncovered. The next day, move to a cutting board and cut into bite-size squares using a sharp knife. Turn the squares into a bowl of sugar and toss to coat. Lay out on parchment to set, then store in a covered container.

To make quince syrup

Place quince peels and cores in a small saucepan and cover with 1 part sugar and 2 parts water. (You can use the water you saved from cooking the fruit.) Cook at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture breaks down and the syrup begins to turn orange. You may need to add more water or sugar to taste. Strain into a jar and refrigerate. Use the syrup to drizzle over cake, pancakes, waffles, or ice cream.