It's only 6 weeks till Christmas - time for the big question: What kinds of cookies shall I bake this year?
Everyone has their special recipes, some handed down from generation to generation. Shall we share? It might be fun to have an international cookie plate
For starters a traditional recipe from my family. No cookies but a sweet treat: Quince Sweetmeat
You need a few very ripe quinces (3 big ones are sufficient for a baking tray). They should have an intense scent.
granulated sugar (about 1 lbs for 3 big quinces)
1-2 organic lemons, cinnamon to taste, cherry brandy (optional)
Rub the fluffy hairs off the quinces with a towel. Then cut the quinces into chunks, with peel, seeds and all. Cook the bits in very little water until they are soft.
Rub the cooked quinces through a sieve. The result will look like apple butter.
Mix this quince mash with the same weight of sugar (1 lbs quince puree + 1 lbs sugar) cinnamon to taste and a dollop of cherry brandy and simmer the mixture at a moderate heat until it thickens (this takes 1-2 hours). Keep stirring it - it chars very easily!
The mixture is ready when the traces of the cooking ladle won't close but stay in place (like with very stiffly whipped egg whites)
Then stir in the finely grated lemon peel, pour the pulp onto a baking sheet, lined with greaseproof paper and leave it to cool.
When cold, it should be as tough as leather.
Leave to dry for at least 24 hours, better for even longer. If necessary, you can dry it in the oven.
Cut the leathery jelley into cubes (or use a tiny cookie cutter), roll the bits in sugar and store them in an airtight tin.
This quince sweetmeat will keep for years if the container is tight enough and the sweetmeat is dry.