Giant quince bombs!

oldherb(z8 Oregon)September 21, 2004

I almost got pummled by a quince fruit! They are huge this year. Lost one limb under a load of 5 large ones. The wind blows them down from the limbs early because of their size...guess I should concider myself lucky but when I walked by the tree the other day I hit my head on one that was hidded in some foliage (OUCH!). The largest fruit is at the very top of the tree..."Will someone get me a ladder before the tree takes aim at one of the cats or me for that matter!"

In all seriousness though, my mouth is watering for the taste of quince preserves :O) I'm trying some new recipes this year since I have the best crop yet.

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I've just juiced the first 10 pounds of my single-tree crop that has also broken a branch from fruit load.

The semi-dwarf tree has become wider due to all the fruit and overhangs the driveway; I have to pull the truck in at 1/2 mph and let the quince scrap the cab top to park without knocking them off.

Hopefully the recent rains have not split too many.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 3:21AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Why not post a note in the HARVESTY forum. There, you can get some decent hints and recipes for making jelly and more with quince.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 12:28PM
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I dont think YOU should bother.
Just pack a bushel or two and send them to me.
I'll get even, and share my carambola with you.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2004 at 10:29AM
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Judeth(Z8 B.C. Can)

Thanks for the site "Harvesty" to check out. I had to pick my Quince, apples & pears because of the Black Bear. He munched on the hardest pears, a bite out of all the low ones. After picking everything, he dug up the ones I buried. Will see what else I can make with quince other then jelly. To pick the high fruit, we fixed a coffee can, near the end of a long stick. Leave some stick above the can so you can twist it against the twig to get the fruit off. Good Luck folks in your canning.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2004 at 3:13PM
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oldherb(z8 Oregon)

Ha, ha, ha...the picture or trying to drive the truck under the bowing quince tree...I loved it! I'm gonna check out the Harvesty forum and see what other stuff I can come up with. The only problem I'm really having is the darn pear slugs or whatever is causing the blossum ends to darken and rot. Most all of the fruit is off the tree and I'm picking a few every day so I'll be cooking 'em up all week I'm sure...the damaged ones that is.

Ya should've seen me on my kitchen step-stool on my tiptoes reaching for the queen of all fruit yesterday. At one point one of the feet hit a mole hole and I almost went over...thankfully I had only put one foot on the darn thing and had just lifted my weight off the other when I felt it tip. One of the hazards of not having one of those lovely long handled fruit grabber thingies. Then when I got the queen picked she turned out to be rather less than perfect on the side you could not see from the ground. But she sure was a beauty on the tree!

This afternoon I had one in my hand that sent me straight to heaven with it's perfume! Now if they could bottle that they would really have somethin' there.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2004 at 9:35PM
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I have a bowl of ripe quince in the kitchen, that aroma competes with the blooming calamondin in the living room.

Have picked about 90 pounds off the quince tree so far; about 60 pounds left on the tree. Now I can drive the truck in at normal speed!

At least my quince were not stolen this year--that was a travesty harvesty.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2004 at 12:17AM
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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

Hallo oldherb, nice to visit with you guys again. My life took a wild curve and here I now sit in Eugene .. for now in an apartment ... ugh. I am scheming about a little house with some dirt, though!
I get so nostalgic when you talk about your quince ... it is always the first tree I plant when I move into a new place. Unfortunately my fortunes were linked to a wanderer, and have had to give up several. Now, once again, I had to leave my quince tree behind but this time also the wanderer, so my next tree and I will stay together for a very long time!
This is how I have always enjoyed my quince ... baked in the oven. The aroma while baking is exquisite! Scrub and remove the stem, then put in a container where you can keep the steam in , like a casserole dish. A more shallow dish will do fine if you completely wrap the fruits with aluminum foil. In either case you put some water in with the fruit, about an inch deep, and bake for several hours at same heat you would use for a stew/casserole.
As dessert the single quince with a dollop of cream looks and tastes heavenly. That beautiful pink/cinnamon colour! I eat 'em skin and all. Of course, you could let them cool and slice the fruitmeat off the core, too.
Wow, sixty pounds of that good stuff!
Fall is a good time because of quince. Now I had better go look at the Saturday Farmer's market this weekend, perhaps I will find some!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 4:33PM
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oldherb(z8 Oregon)

Well...that was lovely inspiration...baked quince with a dollop of whipped cream. I have boxed the unblemished fruit for storage and worked up the remainder that I'm able to reach off the tree and have several containers of quince sauce. I'll make other goodies out of the rest of the fruit. The neighbors are looking in my windows and licking thier chops at the thought of possibly receiving a gift of sauce/butter from me (lol). It's becoming a tradition here that will probably continue as there will be more fruit each year.

I did not weight what I harvested but I'm sure each fruit weighed at least a pound. The large queen of fruits at the top of the tree turned out to be a bummer and I had to toss most of it out. Seems it was overtaken by pear slugs and other critters. There are still a few more way up high though...I better go fire up the oven (ymm).

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 6:57PM
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Final weight of harvest off my semi-dwarf was 140 pounds, just picked the last 53 off yesterday. My "queen" weighed in at 2 1/4 pounds; there were some "jacks" of about 1 1/2 pounds. I think I'll prune more heavily after the leaves fall; the new whips are about 5 feet long. The tree will go up instead of out so the truck is not as awkward to park next year.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 3:25AM
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oldherb(z8 Oregon)

Larry Gene! That's one Queen alright! I neglected to weight mine but they were large. I'm thinking we'll be needing to do some pruning this year too so we can shape up the tree and maybe boost production a bit.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2004 at 7:01PM
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gardenpaws_VA(z7 NoVA)

Drool!! I grew up with a quince tree in the hedgerow, and the stuff in the supermarkets just doesn't smell right.
In addition to jelly, we used to core, pare, and then bake the fruit with honey and a cinnamon stick.
A good place to look for quince recipes is in a Greek cookbook, since they think rather well of the fruit.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2004 at 10:52PM
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Nana4jc(z5 IL)

I am soooooooooooooooo jealous. Your recipes sound wonderful. We recently moved and on the property I found a quince tree. At first I thought it was a pear tree LOL I didn't know anything about quince so I gathered some recipes and was ready to enjoy! Well, the deer decided to enjoy first. The next morning the tree was stripped clean Grrrrr !!!!! We'll be fencing the tree next year :)


    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 10:18PM
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judgemarykali(7/8 PNW - WA)

You wonderful people. I planted my very first Quince tree at my final(!!!) piece of land this spring and have begun drooling already. As well as being good to eat they have such a wonderful fragrence. They make the house smell so good.
I told my husband they will have to carry me off this piece of land - it is MINE!! - and it will have Quince, Asparagus, Grapes, Sea Berries, onions, garlic, zucchini and tomatoes. After that I will see about flowers and other things.LOL

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 3:41PM
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reginak(z7 Maryland)

Amigos, I bought a couple of quince fruits at the gourmet grocer, but before cooking them up I want to be sure --- how do I know they're ripe? If they're not, will they ripen on the counter?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 8:57PM
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oldherb(z8 Oregon)

I don't believe they ripen any after they are picked...they are in the same group as apples & pears. I do know they have more pectin when they are on the green side and they can be eaten if a bit green but will also be more tart. Anyone else have any thoughts here?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 10:35PM
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carol_the_dabbler(Z5/6 Indiana)

Larry Gene -- Which type of juicer do you use for quince -- the steamer kind or the grind-'em-up-raw kind? Is the juice good "straight" or do you mix it with something else? I love juice, and am looking for a good excuse to plant a quince tree.

Does anyone have advice on choosing a cultivar?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 12:05AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Quince are really hard and to extract the juices, you may need some parital cooking depending on the juicer type. The quince juice and pulp, once cooked, makes for a really great jelly as well as an add-in to other related jellies or jams. Some pears do ripen as I have seen this withBartlet and other varieties, that turn from a green to a yellow.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 2:27PM
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I use the Omega 8000 juicer. It is an auger type, it "masticates" the fruit. No cooking or peeling required, just cube up the fruit and toss it down the infeed tube.

A lot of foam will rise, scrape this off and filter through a jelly-bag or other fine mesh. Heat juice and add sugar. The result is like apple juice with more kick. The juice is quite beautiful, a deep golden color. Many people will find the dry aftertaste likely caused by tannin content to be unpleasant.

This dry, tannic taste does not occur for quince jelly or sauce (made like applesauce). Boiling the juice did not seem to reduce the dry effect. It is a rich drink, I like it in small portions, say 4-6 ounces.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2004 at 3:20PM
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carol_the_dabbler(Z5/6 Indiana)

Thanks for the info, Larry Gene. My juicer is also the "raw" type, but apparently not as powerful as yours, assuming that by "auger" you mean something akin to a meat grinder or grain mill, which is what it looks like in the photo I found (see link below).

Are quinces any easier to grow organically than apples? If they are, then that quince sauce you mentioned would be another good reason to grow some.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 12:05AM
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My juicer turns out to be the J8001, unlike the one in the photo-link. It is the size and weight of a bowling ball. The screw-auger is housed in a see-through mechanism, you can see the fruit being chomped. Google that model number.

This juicer will convert over 80% of the quince to juice, leaving a dry pulp that I have added as a soil amendment on occasion. It is not that good with soft fruits, blackberries result in about 30% juice. It will make an efficient seedless puree, though.

I don't know if quinces are easier to grow than apples. You don't need a pollenizer. The quinces are not as cosmetically appealing as apples and split easily when ripe and rained upon. They also are late to ripen, early to mid-October. Once the crop ripens you have to get busy.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 3:57AM
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