Ian had five days off over Easter (a lot of Tasmanian companies have Tuesday as a holiday as well), so we took the opportunity to do a bit more preserving.
The quinces have been ripe for a while, but I had been lacking a bit in motivation as they can be quite hard work (especially as they looked like they were going to be buggy). Ian volunteered to pick the fruit and also cut them up - he is becoming quite the de-bug expert. They ended up being surprisingly bug-free, but a lot of them had flesh that showed a brown discolouration so we discarded quite a large percentage of the fruit we had picked. Googling after the fact came up with a theory that the discolouration may be caused by too many fruit overloading the tree. This would make sense as the tree had a huge amount of fruit and has been neglected for a while (like most in this garden).
I decided to make quince paste as it lasts well, is delicious with cheese and can also be used as a glaze. A few of Christmas' ago, I glazed the ham with quince paste. Yum!
I used the recipe in my trusty Stephanie. You have to cook the paste for ages, but it turned out well and is a beautiful "quincy" colour.
The crabapples were also ready to pick. They were so pretty on the tree.
This jelly was easy to make, after cooking the apples whole you strain the liquid through muslin (I strained it overnight), then add your sugar and cook until it reaches the setting point. Crabapples are high in pectin, so it doesn't take too long for the jelly to be ready. Again, the colour of the results was very beautiful. Unfortunately there are a lot of tiny air bubbles in my jelly. Not something that will affect the taste, but it means the jelly isn't as clear as it could be. It is a fairly common problem and can apparently be circumvented by adding a small amount of butter when you add the sugar. A tip for next time.
1.5 kg of fruit yielded just under 4 x 250ml jars.