Wine, Walnut & Quince Confit
A few years ago I spent an enchanting week cooking, making salumi and visiting cheese, balsamico, parmiggiano and prosciutto factories in Emilia Romagna. There we made a stunningly smart preserve from the “sabah” or grape must called “Savor” and since then Ive been making it here. Traditionally the Italian version is eaten with a fresh soft cheese with an unpronounceable name “Squaquarone” (there, I did warn you!) but I think it is great with “Urda” (Romanian cheese) or on your cheeseboard. Its also a great alternative to jam.
The method is simple and you end up with a preserve with no added sugar – everything in your jar comes from fruit and nuts. Brilliant! So smart and so economical.
Ingredients for 8 200ml jars
1.5 litres of must (which is the grape juice before it turns into wine, also called “must” in Romanian)
1kg quince (gutui)
0. 5 kg apples (mere)
300g walnuts (nuci)
Thin strips of orange peel (optional)
1. Boil the must until it is reduced by half (be prepared for a very fragrant kitchen not to say intoxicating)
2. Chop the peeled fruit into small 1cm approx cubes. To make life easier I bake the quinces sometimes before.
3. Add the fruit and boil gently until a jam like paste with no excess liquid. Once again the air will be heavy with fragrance
4. Add the nuts and make sure they are heated through
5. Bottle in heated sterilized jars
I then water bath the jars to be sure they are properly sterilised after which you may keep as any other preserved food.