For me, my colours are shades of grey, formed out of vibrant reds and soulful blues with swirls of yellow that weave in light. Never black and white - in fact, black never comes into the mix. Right now - there's Autumn’s tones, like the ones you find on turning leaves at the bottom of naked trees… Faded away pinks and moulted rusty greens that push away the blues.
Recently, I found a vibrant coral shade bubbling away under thick blankets of steam, that only quince and golden sugar know how to paint. It seems in this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness; I have discovered the colours that had been tucked away beneath the layers of my everyday life…
600g golden caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
250ml filtered water
Scrub and wash quince thoroughly. Carefully peel, core and cut into quarters.
Place peels, cores and water in a large pot on medium heat. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the cooking liquid and set aside. Discard Peels and cores.
Add quince quarters, sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon peel and cooking liquid, to the pot. Stir over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Brush the sides of the pot with a wet brush to remove any sugar crystals. Turn heat to low and cover the pot. Cook quince segments in the syrup for 1 hour. The quince and syrup will turn a deep coral colour. Remove and discard lemon peel and cinnamon stick.
Transfer poached quince into a jug, using a hand blender, carefully blend into a smooth puree. Return to pot and cook on low heat for a further 10-15 minutes to reduce and thicken, stir continuously. Transfer paste into sterilized jars or ramekins. Cut a disk of parchment paper and cover the surface. Allow to set overnight