9.2.06

I promise I don't only make liquor in my spare time

Yes, Ilva, this is for you! Since I have recently been (kindly) accused of being one "who is given to making alcoholic beverages" in my spare time, I figured that I might as well continue to be guilty of it! But isn't it pretty? That amber hue? And oh, if you could only smell it through your computer...redolent of apples and cinnamon and star anise and flowers on a summer day: Quince Brandy. This recipe came from Nigella Lawson's book, How to be a Domestic Goddess - one of my favorites. Actually, the purchase of this particular book spurned the alcohol-making fetish in me, as it's also where the Rhubarb Schnapps recipe came from.


I'm not a big brandy drinker - in fact, I've never had it before, except to add flavor to a cake, but this is pretty darn good...and I actually liked it much better than the brandy by itself. The quince mellows the sharp bite of the brandy, and gives it all those wonderful smells, while still retaining the brandy flavor. Loving Boyfriend said (what do I know about brandy?) that I was suppposed to put it in a snifter, hold it over a candle to get it slightly warm, swirl to release the aromas, and then drink it. This is me attempting to do this, sans snifter (Hey, give me a break! I'm a poor graduate student!), and even though it didn't get warm, I still like the picture!


The recipe, like the others, is simple: When you can get your hands on some quinces, cut them up into slices. Add a couple of cinnamon sticks, some star anise, and pack it all into a sterile glass jar (straight out of the dishwasher is fine - preferably still warm, but it really isn't that important since it's going to be filled with alcohol). Fill it to the top with brandy, tap it to release any air bubbles, screw on the lid, and viola! You're finished. Give it 6 weeks to 6 months in a cool, dark place, and then it's yours to enjoy. I waited about 4 months before dipping into this beauty, and it was worth the wait. You can even leave all the goodies in the jar - it makes a beautiful presentation, and would also make a nice gift.

14 comments from you:

MM said...

OMG, that sounds heavenly. I can't even get quince here, what more make quince brandy! Kicking chair angrily now.

Clare Eats said...

That is some yummy looking Brandy :)

I am not coming yet.... but I am working on the FACE experiments :)

ilva said...

Oh, did you manage to wait 4 months?! I knew it, I knew that you had some alcoholic beverage in the making inside your cupboards... still have I suspect, knowing you! Anyway-I will absolutely try this when it's quince time next autumn! When ARE you going to make a recipe index so that I will be able to find this recipe when it's time!!??

Kitchen Queen said...

Sounds divine, Michelle!

michelle said...

Hi MM - maybe not, but you've got a lot of yummy things I don't have! I'll have a drink in your honor!

Hi Clare - Okay, so what ARE FACE experiments? I haven't heard of them...

Hi Ilva - you did NOT KNOW that I had still had alcohol in my cupboard! And for your information, silly, I don't have any more...right now...but I'm thinking some juniper berries might be finding there way in something soon... And I actually started on my recipe index yesterday and I'm hoping to finish by Monday, so you'll have full access, my dear!

Hi Kitchen queen - Thanks! It is!

Kat said...

i learn something new everyday! had no idea about the candle thing.

cookiecrumb said...

Aw, don't bother with the candle thing. That's just pointless showing off (and, ooh, Boyfriend's gonna be pissed).
All you have to do is cradle the snifter in your hands to warm the brandy. Assuming you have warm hands.
(And that's what boyfriends are for!)

Clare Eats said...

Free Air CO2 Enriched :)

paz said...

Actually, I think it's pretty cool that you can make you own alcoholic beverage. This Quince Brandy making is very impressive!

Paz

Nerissa said...

Oh my! I am fond of a bit of brandy every now and then. This sounds like quite the experience. I've never had quince experience ever! Where on earth am I going to find it??? Hmmm...

darlamay said...

Michelle, thanks for stopping by my Messy Cucina! I've started dabbling in the alcohol world myself, though no postings yet.

I LOVE Eugene. Whats the name of that cute little market? 5th Street Market . . . and Cafe Paradiso . . .

goooooo DUCKS!

J said...

hi michelle, strangely, those are exactly the two drinks recipes from domestic goddess that i've always been fascinated by (but never got round to making) thanks for sharing!

michelle said...

Hi Kat: Me neither!

Hi Cookiecrumb: Now I know a thing or two about brandy I can rub in his nose (thanks!)!

Hi Clare: Okay, now I know what it stands for, but what do you do with THAT? (remember, I'm just a lowly marine biologist...we just play with animals!)

Hi Paz: Gracias! And it's tasty too!

Hi diningdica: I had never even heard of a quince until this year, when they magically showed up at the farmer's market - I took it as a sign, and then I started running into quince recipes all over! I want to try to make my own quince paste next...

Hi Darlamay: No, thank YOU for stopping by! I can't wait to read about the alcohol that you're concocting... 5th street market is great, there's so many cool stores. They're actually doing a lot of construction and making the whole bottom half into a deli!

Hi J: Wouldn't I love to see what you would make out of there and what the pictures would look like...I can already imagine how beautiful they would be...

Zeon said...

I've posted this article and recipe that you've written in a new myspace group that i created for Quince Entusiasts Worldwide. I'm hoping you have a myspace account so that you can join the group and post your comments. Otherwise, i've cited your blog in this photograph. I hope to promote and repopularise this exotic as it has a prominent role historiograpically and has become recently much maligned if not completely forgotten since the 19th century.
with love and alohas!

polynesian_metal

http://groups.myspace.com/quincecommons