Candied quince is a delicious confection that will keep in a cool, dark and dry place all winter long.
- 4 quinces, well scrubbed
- Place the quinces in a large saucepan and cover with water. Boil gently for about 25 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and the skins start to burst.
- Remove to a rack, cover with paper towels and cool to lukewarm.
- Cut into quarters and remove the cores and any hard parts.
- Scrape the pulp into a bowl, discarding the skins, and mash thoroughly.
- Weigh the pulp and mix with an equal weight of sugar.
- Place in a heavy saucepan and bring to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture stiffens and shifts as a mass when the pot is tilted—about 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the quince. If you do, it will have a tacky texture and a caramel flavor.
- Sprinkle a baking sheet thickly with sugar. Spread the hot quince mixture on the sugar in an even layer about 3/8 inch thick.
- When the mixture is cool enough to handle, cut it into neat 1-inch squares.
- Sprinkle another baking sheet with sugar and place the squares upside down on the sugar.
- Heat the oven to 175º F. Sprinkle the squares lightly with sugar and place in the warm oven for 20 minutes.
- Turn the oven off, wait 20 minutes, then turn the oven on again for 20 minutes longer. Repeat this process until the squares are no longer soft and sticky, turning them periodically and sprinkling them lightly with sugar if they seem very moist.
- When the squares are done, sprinkle them lightly with sugar and place them between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container and store in a cool place. They will keep for months, providing they were dry.