This hard-when-raw but delightful-when-cooked fruit is well worth the effort of chopping. We had several quince sources (and are looking for more for next year!): a tree two blocks from our house, a supply through (formerly) Uncle Paul’s fruit stand, and a connection in Salem through our participation in the Great American Distillers’ Fest. This last source yielded pineapple quince, a deliciously fragrant and large variety that we will prioritize next fall.
Our process for making the liqueur involves slow cooking the quince, capturing and separating the juice and the fruit pulp. We infuse unfinished fruit spirits with the quince pulp and then distill it to make a 160 proof quince spirit, which we then blend with the reserved quince juice and liquid sugar to make a golden and unique cocktail in a glass. Alternatives to straight up are: