Quince paste: just like the bought stuff!

It took an hour to peel, chop and core the quinces and another to simmer them until they were tender enough to puree, then eight hours in the slow cooker and about the same again in muffin tins in the oven at 100C… but in the end my quince paste turned out just like the bought stuff.

Would I make it again? Hell no! Now I understand why it costs so much for those tiny tubs at the delicatessen. My advice? Just make quince jam and spread it on your cheese and crackers instead of slicing it up on your cheeseboard. It tastes the same for about 10 per cent of the hassle.

(Although having said, I’ve just switched the slow cooker on again to have my first crack at making nier beurre, or black butter. Traditionally made from cider and cooking apples on the island of Jersey, this molassses-coloured preserve is cooked in a cauldron over an open fire for three days, all the while being stirred continuously. I read about it Country Living magazine last year and have been willing my apples to ripen ever since.)