after leaving the quince mash to drain overnight, it was time to see how much juice i collected. the metal sieve setup, using just 1/3 mash, managed to get 4 1/2 cups of juice. the pasta strainer setup, using 2/3 mash, managed just 3 1/2 cups of juice. obviously the choice of strainer/colander/sieve makes a big difference. with more mash i was supposed to get more juice, but the pasta strainer is not the best choice. neverthless, 8 cups of pure quince juice was not too bad. the semi-clear liquid tasted like unsweetened grapefruit juice. it had a viscosity like light syrup.
8 cups of juice required 8 cups of sugar, so i needed to visit the supermarket to make sure i had enough. i also got a package of cornish game hen (2) which i'd have for dinner later tonight. my mother asked me if i could get her some cucumbers. after making a stop at home, i changed from bicycle to motorcycle and went to the cafe. back at home, i switched once more to bicycle then went to the community garden to collect some rosemary. from there i biked to the dollar store to pick up some toilet paper. only then did i finally come home for good (approximately 1:00), having a yogurt for lunch.
i didn't start boiling the quince juice until almost 4:00. before then i was rummaging my closet for suitable jars, then putting them through the dishwasher to sterilize them. also not sure if you're supposed to do this, but i scraped off the mash so i could reuse the cheesecloth. after a few water changes, they looked good as new and i draped them over large bowls to dry.
into a thick-bottom pot went the juice, with a candy thermometer clipped to the side to monitor the temperature. i turned on the stove. as the liquid slowly reached boiling point, i began to add in the sugar one cup at a time. 8 cups seemed excessive (1 cup already seemed too much) but i didn't want to deviate from the instructions. a white film formed on the surface of the liquid.
once the juice began to boil, the white film solidified into a thick foam layer that resembled curdled milk. i scooped it up with a spoon as it continued to form. i was boiling at a bubbly simmer on medium high. i tried turning up the heat a few times to achieve a rolling boil, but it churned up too much foam which would continue to rise until it was dangerously close to overflowing.
it took about 30 minutes of boiling before the liquid started to darken to a light caramel color. it didn't take too long for it to change again into a darker caramel color. the smell during the whole process wasn't that of quince, but rather of sweet potatoes for whatever reason. perhaps fumes from all that dissolved sugar?
i used a cold plate to test; once the few drops solidified on contact, the jelly was ready. by then the liquid had turned a dark amber color, approximately 15 minutes after the juice began to get darker. i began to pour the liquid into the jars: 1 grey poupon jar, 2 medium pickle jars, and 1 large pickle jar that i only managed to fill up halfway. a total of about 6 small jars of jelly. inside the jar, the liquid took on an reddish-orange color. the jelly had a delicious tart and sweet taste. i couldn't really taste the quince though, although what flavor there was was strong.
i'd been marinating one of the game hens in a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, freshcut lemon juice, garden-grown rosemary, and sea salt. i roasted it for dinner, covering it with some sweet thailand hot sauce and pairing it with some miniature potatoes i'd lightly pre-cooked in a pan of butter and oil. while it was baking in the oven, pau came home with katarina. apparently thursday night is the night astrophysicists come together to watch the big bang theory at 8:00. i felt a little bad eating my roasted chicken while they didn't have dinner yet, but later they ate the rest of pau's spanish omlette with some peanut butter sandwiches. we watched the live edition of 30 rock followed by fringe (the last episode until november due to the baseball playoffs). ironic moment of the night came during a not-so-subtle embedded product placement in fringe, a ford taurus, the same car pau rented last weekend and which he vehemently disliked for its underwhelming performance.
it was a night of scifi as we got caught in the web known as the terminator (1984). pau had seen it before, but it was katarina's first time. the commercial breaks were irritating for them, who're used to watching uninterrupted shows online or through dvd. katarina didn't leave until 1:15, with a heavy downpour happening outside. instead of taking her bike, she left it locked to a signpost and walked home in the rain with an umbrella.
i kept on checking the progress of my jellies. on the surface they look solid enough, but tilting the jars i can still move around the jelly inside, so they don't seem completely solid yet. i left them outside in the kitchen for now, maybe i'll put them in the fridge tomorrow to speed up the solidifying process. or maybe i didn't boil them long enough.