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Recipe: Quince Preserves
05:28:56 PM Sunday Oct 30, 2005

Quince is a very special fruit, fleshy and looks almost like an apple. It must be cooked since it's too tart to eat raw. All across North Africa from Morocco to Egypt quince is made into preserves and jellies of varying textures and sweetness. Here's a simple recipe for quince preserves - not quince jelly. This recipe gives you the cooked fruit in a beautiful shape and gorgeous color, with plenty of delicious all-natural red syrup that you can also use for cakes, as glaze, or as an ice cream topping as well. It smells soooo amazingly fragrant, you'll crave it before it's even cooked. try it! :)

Quince Preserves ? Sfarjel/Safargel

4 quinces, washed and thinly peeled
1 small cinnamon stick
1-2 thin slices lemon peel

Steam the peeled quinces for about 20 minutes. Let them cool a bit, then carefully slice them, removing the thick core part with the seeds. Don't slice too thin or else it'll melt and fall apart as it cooks.

Measure the amount of sliced fruit you have. Use that same amount of sugar and water. For example, if the sliced fruit fills a bowl (I always do it by bowl :) then use that same bowl to measure the sugar and water. I usually put a little less than a full bowl of sugar b/c I don?t like it too sweet, but you can also add more than a bowl if you prefer. So the ratio of quince-sugar-water is 1-1-1. Easy! :)
Dissolve the sugar and water in a large wide-bottom pot on a very low heat. Add the sliced quince, cinnamon stick, and lemon peel. Allow to cook uncovered on a very gentle heat for at least 1-1.5 hours. You?ll know it?s cooked when the deep red color appears in both the fruit and the syrup, and if you put a fork to a slice of the fruit it should glide smoothly through all the way - soft, but not crumbling nor falling apart.

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, not cold. Best with homemade bread!

Note: you can use the same recipe for strawberry preserves, minus the lemon peel, plus a bit extra sugar since strawberries tend to be more acidic.

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7:08 am    January 19, 2008
Can you just steam it and eat it???
the idea you've proposed is excellent :)

11:29 am    November 2, 2005

hudhud message
everyone at work loved this. apparently in northern italy they make quince jelly too.. where else do they preserve it sliced though, as a real fruit preserve? i can't stand the store-bought quince jams, they're hyper-sweet, too concentrated, and too thick to spread at all.. tasteless canned junk 7acha ni3mah..
tis the season.. in a few more months no more good quince for another year..

12:33 am    October 31, 2005

hudhud message
here's what a bit of internet research turned up:
"Quinces are a native of Persia and are the fruit of love, marriage and fertility. Quinces were the golden apple of the Esperides, the golden apple that prevented Atlanta winning the race and the same golden apple that Paris awarded to Aphrodite."
it was probably associated with beauty/love b/c it smells so fragrant, and it has really pretty flowers. also, I looked up other recipes online, some call it "apple quince" and others "pear quince". it's likely there are different varieties of sfarjel as with so many other fruits.

12:12 am    October 31, 2005

hudhud message
yeah, sometimes it looks more like pears, but biologically it's considered a relative of apples..
sfer rrjel! cute theory! oua lakin ma3ndouch rijline :)
i looked it up in the arabic dictionary, it didn't give an etymology.. in Baalbaki's mawrid (arabic-english) it lists it also under "safarjel hindiy" - could it be that this plant is native to the indian subcontinent and that it's name is of indian origin?

8:01 pm    October 30, 2005

Adnane Ben. message
This fruit we call in Oujda "Sverjel".. no clue about the origin of the word.. maybe Sfer arrjel (the one with yellow foot?)

And also, this fruit looks more like Pears than apples.


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