A ratafia is an aromatic cordial or fruit infused spirit, using either vodka or Brandy. One of the very best ways of using a quince glut is to make a quince ratafia. Firstly you need to rinse and wipe 2 ripe quinces very well as you do not peel them for this recipe. Get a preserving bottle, such as a Kilner preserving container, that can hold up to 2 litres of liquid, and wash it very carefully with hot water and soap. Rinse, dry and set aside.
Grate the two quinces, peel and flesh together, and place the grating in the preserving jar. Add 500g. of caster sugar. Add approximately half a teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, freshly grated ginger and freshly grated numeg. Fill the bottle with vodka or brandy.
Seal the lid of the bottle and shake vigourously. Now place the bottle in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or larder.
The quince ratafia should be ready after 30-60 days. Strain and pour into liqueur glasses.
The Patient Plotter
Since retiring from the City, The Patient Plotter grows fruit, vegetables and herbs in a quiet garden in the Shires. He has left behind him the hurly burly of the big smoke, the bright lights and fancy food, for a life of contemplative meditation and sustainable horticulture.