Tag Archives: quince

How to make your own Quince Gin

A few weeks ago I knocked up a batch of Parma Violet Gin, and very acceptable it was too. Buoyed on by my gin making triumph, and somewhat overwhelmed by a glut of quinces, I decided to try my hand at making some Quince Gin.

Quince Gin, or any fruit flavoured gin is really easy to do, you just need a big jar, some fruit, a bit of sugar, gin and some time.

I’ve never really drunk much quince gin before and now that I have, I find it hard to understand why it’s not more of a thing. It’s not sweet and sickly, but it’s delicately perfumed, just like the fruit and it’s really very special.

How to make your own Quince Gin

We have a quince tree in our garden, so most autumns we are blessed with a fairly decent crop of fruit. Most of this goes towards making quince jelly, which is excellent with cheese, but this year I put aside two nice big quinces for ginning with. It’s simple to do, you just need patience.

How to make your own Quince Gin

You will need:

380mls Gin, I used the cheap stuff from Aldi
2 large quinces
30g sugar
A large jar
Coffee filters or muslin
A funnel
A nice bottle

How to make Quince Gin:

The first thing I did was measure how much gin my decorative bottle would take. My bottle would hold 350mls of gin, so allowing for a little bit of wastage during the straining process, and me having a little taste, I measured out 380mls of gin and poured it into a large sterilised jar.

To sterilise your jars and bottles, put your clean jars in a low oven for at least half an hour. Carefully remove your jars from the oven (they will be incredibly hot) and allow them to cool down a little.

Chop up your two clean quinces as small as you can be bothered to do. I removed the small core and the pips. Once they’re all chopped up, add them to your large jar and top up with 30g of sugar. Put the lid on your jar and give it a good shake.

How to make your own Quince Gin

Now, the fruit at the top of the jar might be a bit exposed to the air; this bothered me, so I took a piece of baking paper and made a cartouche of sorts. A cartouche is just a bit of paper which you cover the top of food with when you’re cooking to make sure the contents are submerged. This stops the quince at the top of the jar from going brown.

Put the jar to one side, making sure you shake the jar every few days. Leave the quince to sit in the gin for 3-6 weeks.

When the time is up, take your sterilised bottle and using a funnel with some muslin or a coffee filter in it; strain the gin into the bottle. I found that it was best if I strained it twice. Just make sure you replacing the muslin with a new piece after the first straining.

How to make your own Quince Gin

Seal your bottle and decorate it with a nice label if you’re giving it as a gift. I’ve called this gin “Two Quinces” after the 1992 Spin Doctors song, you’re welcome.

If you’ve got some quince to spare, you might also like to try this recipe for Goats Cheese & Caramelised Onion Galette with quince.

How to make your own Quince Gin

Five Delicious Vegetarian Comfort Food Dishes

I turned vegetarian when I was 13 and there’s not a lot I miss, but on a cold winter night I do sometimes hanker after the slow cooked, deep flavoured chilli my Nan used to make. Thankfully after lots of practice I’ve finally nailed the recipe and managed to make it vegetarian too.

Most of the warming comfort food dishes from my childhood were meat based – family roast dinners, my Nan’s amazing beef chilli, corned beef hash, shepherd’s pie and bubbling stews cooked so long the meat almost melted in your mouth.

There’s something about cooking up some comfort food which makes you feel like you’re showing your family some extra love. I enjoy throwing a few things in the slow cooker and knowing that by tea time there will be a delicious meal ready for my family.

Vegetarian comfort food can feel a bit hard to come by, so I’ve created and shared some of our favourite family recipes on my blog, here are five of my favourite vegetarian comfort food recipes – 

Vegetarian Galletes

vegetarian comfort food

These are a recent addition to my comfort food repertoire. They’re really easy to make, utterly delicious and once you get the hang of it you can fill them however you want. I made a Goats Cheese, Caramelised Onion and Quince Galette and a Feta, Red Pesto & Tomato Galette. Both were absolutely bang on and real crowd pleasers.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

vegetarian comfort food

Now autumn is here my soup making pot is starting to see some serious action. Cauliflowers are cheap and plentiful in the shops, so I recreated my favourite soup, but with a cheesy twist. Try my very delicious Norwegian inspired Cauliflower Cheese Soup.

Spanish Style Bravas Sausage Casserole

vegetarian comfort food

I’d had it in my head to make a big Spanish style bravas sausage casserole in my slow cooker for a while. This summer hadn’t been up to much and I was desperate to start rustling up comfort food dishes, and this was the first one of the season. I made my sausage casserole with Quorn sausages, but you could very easily make them with your favourite meaty sausages if you’d prefer. I made the sauce in the slow cooker and let it bubble away gently to itself for a few hours. The recipe is really simple and it’s now a firm family favourite.

Authentic Armenian style Imam Bayildi 

vegetarian comfort food

Imam Bayildi is basically stuffed, baked aubergines. They’re simple to make, you can prepare them ahead of time and then cook them when you need them and they are melt in the mouth gorgeous. I like to use good quality ingredients in this recipe as every single mouthful zings flavour. Fresh vegetables and herbs are essential, they’re packed full of flavour and these sunshiny aubergines are a little bit of summer on a cold autumn evening.

Easy Microwave Jam Sponge

vegetarian comfort food

No vegetarian comfort food round-up would be complete without a pudding. This incredibly easy to make and very quick to cook microwave jam sponge is just the ticket to warm your cockles on a cold winter evening. All you need are a few store cupboard ingredients, ten minutes of your time and you’ve got a good pud that’ll make your family smile.

Voucherbox.co.uk have a great blog post about the five healthy foods that can actually save you money, and if you want even more money off your online shop they also have plenty of Sainsbury’s vouchers which you can use.

vegetarian comfort food

Recipe: Goats Cheese & Caramelised Onion Galette

Hello Autumn. This wonderful season of mellow fruitfulness and crispy crunchy leaves has arrived, and my lovely quince tree is heaving with fruit. Normally I make a big batch of quince jelly with its fruit, but this year we have so many that I thought I’d cook with them too. I made a delicious Goats Cheese & Caramelised Onion Galette topped with quince – and it was oh so good!

Quince is an unusual fruit. It looks like a hard pear and is covered in fuzz. They’re not so much an eating fruit, but one you cook with. They’re most commonly found in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cookery. Quince are perhaps most famously used in membrillo, a delicious thick paste served with cheese from Spain.

galette

I’ve never made a galette before, I had one at a French cafe in Devon and thought that it would be a good thing to try at home. It’s a bit like an informal French tart. It’s very simple and a great thing to throw together on an Autumnal evening for a warming family meal. It looks pretty too doesn’t it?

galette

It’s very simple, it’s a shortcrust pastry filled with whatever you fancy. I went for goats cheese and caramelised onion topped with finely sliced quince in a fresh thyme pastry crust. If you don’t have quince you could slice and apple or pear over the top and it would probably be just as good.

Goats Cheese & Caramelised Onion Galette

Serves 6
Try this delicious informal French tart – the perfect thing for an Autumnal supper.

Ingredients
For the shortcrust pastry –
100g butter
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon of thyme leaves – I used fresh but dry would be fine
tepid water
pinch of salt
For the filling –
150g of goats cheese
1 large onion
knob of butter
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
1 quince, cored and finely sliced
1 egg

Instructions
1. Make your pastry. Rub the butter and flour together in a bowl until they are like breadcrumbs. Add your thyme and salt and combine. Gradually add the tepid water a couple of spoons at a time into your bowl until you have a ball of dough that isn’t too sticky and wet or too dry. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for half an hour or so.
2. Finely slice your onion and fry gently until soft and golden in the knob of butter. Once soft, season and add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook through. Set aside to cool a little.
3. Roll out your dough until it’s about the thickness of a pound coin and roughly the shape of a circle approximately 30cm in diameter. Place on baking paper on a baking tray.
4. Slice or crumble your goats cheese (whichever works best with the cheese you’ve chosen) and place it in the middle of the pastry, leave an edge around the sides of about 6 or 7cms so you can fold the pastry up to make the classic galette shape later.
5. Top the cheese with your caramelised onions and then fan your finely sliced quince (or apple or pear) in an artistic circle on top of the onion.
6. Take a pastry brush and brush beaten egg around the visible edge of your galette. Now take a look at my picture of the finished galette. You will need to bring the sides of your galette over the sides and covering the top, leaving the middle of the galette open. Fold the sides in sections, working anti-clockwise so they roughly overlap. Gently press the folds together. It is meant to look rustic.
7. Brush with the beaten egg and dot the quince slices on the top with some butter.
8. Bake in a pre-heated oven 200°c for 45-50 minutes until golden brown.
9. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes, and then serve.

Notes
This serves 6 for lunch, or 4 hungry people. I served my galette with new potatoes and salad.

My goats cheese and caramelised onion galette was delicious and easy to make. I really liked how rustic and hearty it looked, and it’s always good to bring something to the table which makes everyone’s tummy rumble. The French often make sweet galettes with plums and such like, I have a feeling we’ll be eating a lot of these versatile galettes this year.

galette