Autumn Produce – Rhubarb Wine and Quince Cheese

We’ve been given some lovely quinces, the first of the season. Time to make quince cheese then! The now much-used recipe is in A Year on the Farm. I’ve given a table there for making the cheese in the microwave. It’s less messy and far quicker than the stovetop method.

Quinces 2017Quince cheese recipeInterestingly, same quinces, same microwave, same quantities – yet one batch took a minute or two longer than the other. Just be guided by the colour – it’s done when it reaches that deep red or amber hue.

Normally I pour it into small containers but today used trays and will cut into squares to serve and share.

quince cheese finished

I’m in the process of making a little quince jelly too – autumn would not be the same without the aroma of quince jelly in the air.

Any pieces of quince that need to be cut away, I cook up for the chooks – today it’s along with some peels and cores of nashi fruit, leftover from making a fruit compote. Our feathered girls especially love a touch of coddling moth in there – as Peter Cundall would say – they gobble them up like lollies.

quince jelly plus chook mash

Our rhubarb has grown abundantly, so we are also making rhubarb wine. As always, there is a debate about which recipe to use when starting something new. As no compromise could be reached, Robert and I are each making a different version and we will see who gets the better result. It’s a work in progress at present.

Robert chopped a mountain of rhubarb, then made his version (the first you see here, with sugar but no water added), while mine is an entirely different beast with water already included but as yet no sugar – in fact none for 5 days at least.

Robert cutting rhubarb

Cookbook vs recipes

Rhubarb wine robertsally rhubarb wine

Now to the blood plums a neighbor just delivered to our door – plum and port paste maybe….. I’ve already made lots of cordial syrup with some I had before. It’s a day for making fruit cheeses and wine I think.

Last evening another neighbour brought us some wonderful tomatoes from his garden. So hard to decide what to do with them…. semi-dry I think. Their flavour should be astounding – another addition to the cheese platters to come.

All-in all not a bad way to spend an early autumn day, here in the Valley of Love.

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