I found out the hard way that even the (obvious?) watering of the pot plants needed to be on the list.
WORDS JEAN MANSFIELD
I make and love quince paste with my cheeses, but this jammy terrine was stunning when combined with the stronger blue.
The recipes are not much different to jam making. In fact, some of my jams have turned into pastes because I have left them a little long to simmer and they have reduced to almost toffee consistency. Turkish delight texture is about what you’re aiming for.
I tend to make pastes in a loaf tin now as even the wide-necked jars make getting the paste out difficult.
The other great thing about pastes is that they keep for a long time, a year or more when stored in an airtight container. I made the last batch of paste using frozen plums from last year’s harvest. Dave picked the plums and froze them in plastic bags, an easy and useful way to save them for jam and sauce-making.
Cook the plums and lemon juice in a large stainless pot until the fruit is soft, about 30 minutes. Watch for it sticking on the bottom of the pot – a long handled wooden spoon is helpful for stirring. Squeeze the fruit through a colander, although I use my steamer pot as a colander sitting on top of another pot. I just keep stirring and mashing until all the fruit pulp has pressed into the lower pot, leaving the pips and skins in the top pot. A potato masher can be helpful too. The idea is to get the fruit pulp smooth so you may also need to press it through a sieve to remove any lumpiness. Measure the pulp – for every cup of pulp, add one cup of sugar, then add the honey. Bring the mixture to the boil slowly, stirring until it is thick. It will bubble and spit like the mud pools at Rotorua, and it needs to be really thick to set firmly which can take 40 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and cool to blood temperature, then add the chopped walnuts and stir. Spread onto a baking paper-lined tray or silicon mould and leave to cool. Once cool, wrap the firm paste in baking paper and refrigerate. This paste will be the texture of Turkish delight and will slice to accompany blue cheese or a robusttasting cheddar.