Friday, 4 November 2016

Quince brandy workshop and social

Last weekend I attended a quince brandy making workshop or, as one of my Facebook friends pointed out, a quince vodka workshop. Technically, she is correct as we used vodka rather than brandy to add to the fruit but I assume that it is sometimes referred to as "brandy" because of the colour of the final product. [Note: brandy can be used instead of vodka so that would definitely be quince brandy.] Moving on: the event was organised by Slow Food Berkshire & Wiltshire and although the stated aim of the the event was to learn how to make the aforementioned beverage it was very much a social occasion as well. One can, after all, just follow a recipe retrieved from the internet but it is not as much fun grating quinces sitting on your own in the kitchen. As well as learning a new skill we all shared our own quite different experiences of  growing, preparing and preserving food, and made several new friends.

The quinces and other dry ingredients were provided by our hosts and the fruit came from a tree in their garden. We brought along the jars, vodka, graters and paring knives. The recipe we used was straightforward: 8 medium-large quinces grated, 450g sugar, 20 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick per jar (about 2-3 inches long), 1litre of vodka and water if necessary to top up the jars. My three jars are now infusing on the kitchen window sill and are turned every day as per instructions.

I managed to grab some of the cores that were left before they were consigned to the compost and those are now in a jar with a little sugar and water in an attempt to make quince scrap vinegar. It will be some days before I can judge whether or not that is working.

Ready, steady, GRATE!

Time to add the alcohol

Back home on the kitchen window sill

Quince scrap vinegar in the making - hopefully!