The Valley of the Quinces

I know this Derwent Valley is often referred to as The Valley of Love, but most definitely this year it also deserves the title of  “The Valley of the Quinces”.

Yesterday we picked a huge number from our friends’ most magnificent tree at Bushy Park. They were in perfect condition for anything a cook, pastry chef or chef might want to create with them.

I kept a generous number for myself to work with of course, but by far the majority (and we are talking well over 100 kilos here) went into Alistair and Teena’s Sweet Envy.

From there many crates full were transported down to their Side Show shop at Parliament Square. I am told that the aroma of the quinces in the cafe is nothing short of stunning.

I know that they will find their way into all sorts of delectable pastry and cake creations.

For my part, once more quince jelly is on the cooktop of the wood-fired oven. This afternoon, when space is made free, I will be making at least one batch of quince honey. This very old family recipe was shared with me last week when we picked another friend’s tree full of quinces.

Sadly this wonderful fruit’s season, with the quintessential aroma and flavour of autumn, will be gone. Time to make the most of every last piece by preserving and cooking them one way or another.

Many thanks to the lovely quince tree owners who so generously are sharing around this year’s  bountiful crop.

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