Before moving to Latvia I had never seen quince, much less ever tasted one or anything made from them. Upon marrying my husband I soon learned that he liked using quince to make a delicious syrup which he would then use to make a refreshing drink, served either hot or cold.
Making quince syrup has now become a yearly necessity in our home and since we don't have enough of our own we were blessed to have some kind friends who shared theirs with us.
The making of quince syrup is a bit time consuming, but it is well worth it and really very simple.
To begin with you need to find some quince, I would say you need at least 2-3 lbs. But more would be better if you want to make enough syrup to last through the winter. Also you do not need to work them all in one day as it is a rather time consuming job.
Halve and remove seeds. They have a lot of little black seeds which seem to fly everywhere by the time all the cutting is done.
Slice or put through Kitchen Aid slicing machine (my friend did that).
Cover completely with sugar. We used at least 1 1/2 kilo for this batch. It is very important not to use too littlesugar otherwise the quince will spoil. Better to over do it so they quince will keep properly.
Cover and let sit for several days, stirring several times a day. The goal is for the sugar to completely dissolve, when this has happened you will know the quince is ready. It will look like a thick syrup and there will be no grains of sugar on the bottom of the bowl.
When the quince has released its juice and this wonderfully fragrant syrup has developed you are now ready to put this into sterilized jars. It may then be stored in a cool place and used as desired. We keep ours in the basement. There is no need for a water bath.
Another option is to drain the syrup off and put it into sterilized jars and to dehydrate the fruit- thus resulting in a wonderful candied quince treat.
To use simply add apx. 1 T+/- (to taste) to a cup of water- hot or cold and enjoy. We love this refreshing drink and so does everyone who visits us. Enjoy!