Sunday, November 9, 2008

Green Tea and Quince jelly

I had bought my first packet of green tea. Being in search of anything other than black tea, something which was pleasant to drink in the morning or at work. After having tried all kinds of Yogi teas (I still haven't finished them all!), I again felt like making another round of tea hunting and saw green tea. Earlier I turned my eyes away from such teas, I only drank black tea, and only if cooked in the Indian style as chai. I love to try out different flavours when it comes to food, but have been very conservative when it comes to tea until recently. I still don't like aromatised teas much and feel that nothing can compare a wonderful cup of hot Indian style chai with milk. Ummmm.......!
I still drink it, but now I use it exclusively to take care of my migrane and it works wonders, like today itself. Now I'm sitting in front of the computer, while it could have been that I was lying in bed covering my head with a blanket, making sure not a single stream of light reached my eyes. I actually took some rest, it being a saturday, before I prepared my slightly europeanised version of chai - black tea infused with ginger and caradamom in a pot and then adding milk later to it. Yes.... that was what I needed and I'm the fittest person in the world right now. :)

Coming back to green tea now. I then saw this shelve with green teas and remembered having drunk this quite pleasant tasting tea once. And thought of giving it a try. And it was a good choice I made. Another reason was the thought on all the good vitalising and health promoting substances it contains. Like plant polyphenols, vitamins, caffeine, and essential minerals. The most important of them being the polyphenols like EGCG, the most abundant catechin in tea, which are well known as antioxidants, making them so healthy and have been made responsible for (only to a certain extent) the cancer preventing properties. And their caffeine content is much lower thn that of coffeee or even black tea, which is another positive point about them*(see below).Quince is a wonderful fruit which I had tasted raw only once before in a village in Italy, many years back. I saw them here a few days back in the market and it brought back the memories of our lovely trip to southern Italy and I bought them instantly. I'm extraordinarily happy I did it!
And then like it always is, one thing lead to the other and I was preparing my first ever quince jelly with green tea. I had put them carefully in my vegetable shelve in the fridge and was planing to make a quince jelly. A couple of days later out of nowhere the thought crossed my mind, what if I used green tea. Being a bit scared, I started searching for recipes with both the ingredients together and I didn't find any, but instead found a couple of other recipes of green tea prepared with rose petals or orange peels. I searched mainly in German language though. Now, that disappointed me a bit and it also made me totally skeptical, but then the next day I decided that I had to try it, as I still faintly remembered the quince fruit being very aromatic. And, was I right!

Here is the recipe:

Green Tea and Quince jelly

Based on the recipe at Marions Kochbuch (in German)

1 kg (1000 g ; about 2 pounds) quince
3/4 l green tea, prepared fresh**
1 cup lemonbalm leaves, whole
1 lemon, the juice
250 g gelling sugar 2:1 (sugar with pectin) - or slightly more depending on the quantity of juice extracted

Equipments required:
2 large pans,
one large strainer,
large spoons,
a laddle,
a small porcelain plate placed in the freezer,
2-3 boiled jars with twist-off lids

  • Wash the fruits, rub off the fluff, remove the seeds (toxic) and all the black spots
  • cut into large pieces with the skin
  • take a large and deep pot and add the fruits and the green tea
  • cook for 40 minutes covered on medium-low
  • add lemon balm leaves, mix and cook for another 10 minutes
  • the fruits would be very soft by now and enough pectin and fruit juices would have infused into the tea
  • mash the fruits lightly with a spoon or laddle
  • place a cheese cloth over a large metal stainer placed over another deep sauce pan
  • pour the cooked quince into it with the help of a spoon
  • let strain
  • twist the cheese cloth ends together tightly to let the remaining juice to come out at the end
  • do not do it too strongly, as it may make the jelly turn too cloudy and not give a clear transleuscent jelly
  • remove strainer, and measure the quantity, should be around 500 ml
  • if the quantity is more increase the quantity of gelling sugar accordingly)
  • add the juice of one lemon and gelling sugar, mix throughly
  • (optionally you can add lemon balm leaves now, use a teabag for that)
  • bring to boil and keep cooking on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring with a laddle
  • keep laddle in the pan
  • take out the plate from freezer and pour a drop of the jelly with the laddle on it,
  • if the jelly turns firm and doesn't remain runny and thin then it is ready!
  • pour with the laddle into boiled jars, close lid tightly, turn upside down for 5 to 10 minutes
  • turn them back and let cool down
*Sources of the information on green tea were from here, here and here.
**Wiki source: how to prepare green tea .

The moment I started cutting the quinces, I was totally overwhelmed by the aroma of the fruit. "WOW!" I thought. It smelled like a mixture of pineapple, rose, guava and oranges. But, isn't that overwhelming enough! And after the jelly was ready, cooling down in the bottles, I tried to taste the still warm and soft jelly remainig in the laddle, licking with my finger. Won............derful! This jelly held more than its promise! The intensity and variety of of flavours which exploded on my tongue with it was awesome. Interestingly I found that it had a pleasant flavour of roses after being cooked. In fact, initially, after seeing one recipe, I even wanted to buy rose petals, but didn't manage to. But, hey, who needs them, when you have quince!
It is a wonderful recipe which has the goodness of green tea and the richness in flavour of quince. Perfect, isn't it?!

While trying to find translations for the German words for the recipe - like the "fluff" on the skin (called Flaum in German), I came across this wonderful recipe for quince jelly at Elise Bauer's blog Simply Recipes with detailed step by step pictures.

I'm sending off this recipe to Original Recipe event at Lore's Culinarty.
And I remembered that I'm just in time for Meeta's Monthy Mingle being hosted at her blog this time. I had dropped the idea of taking part in this event, as I had no plans of using coffee and had no clue to what one could do with tea. Of course, I only had black tea in mind at that time. But, here I'm with my entry!


Priya said...

Amazing the colour..quince i never tried them..need to try...lovely work PG..

Lore said...

Now this is original indeed! I've never tried this flavour combo before but it sure sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing your jelly with the Original Recipes Round-Up!

anudivya said...

Boy! That does look great. I love the translucent color itz got...

Sunshinemom said...

The title told me this was something for the MM:) What a glorious color! I can't even try this for lack of ingredients here!

Sia said...

very unique recipe indeed :)

Meeta K said...

I've been making quince jelly for a few years now - but adding green tea is a wonderfully unique idea. Simply gorgeous!

PG said...

Thanks Priya and Thanks Anudivya! Yes, I loved the colour too, if only I could send the flavours along to show you how wonderful it tastes.
Lore, it was my pleasure! This is my first jelly and I enjoyed every bit of it, the making and the eating part. :)
Thanks Sunshinemom! Thanks Sia! That's what makes blogging even more fun, ain't it?!
Meeta, thank you so much for this chance. The time between thinking of the idea and materialising it was considerably shortened, thanks to your event! I realied that there wasn't much time left for the event :D