Peachland woman discovers fruit native to Turkey growing in her backyard
A Peachland resident had bright yellow fruit falling from her tree this month, and she didn’t know what they were.
Lorraine Clair moved into the house this summer. There was a shrub-like tree on her property she didn’t recognize. Little fruits appeared in the spring and grew bigger and more colourful across the summer, until falling to the ground recently.
“The lady I bought the house from called the fruits ‘bush apples’,” she said. “I took a picture of them and put them on a gardening site online. I was told they were quince but there was some debate about it. When they turned bright yellow I posted again and this time everyone said it was quince.”
Clair said she was convinced it was quince, a fruit native to Turkey and southeast Asia, after cutting into the fruit and seeing a fleshy white centre with a core like an apple, which matched the photos she found online.
She said she has been making jams and jellies for years and is currently making her first quince jelly. She cut the fruit into tiny pieces and put them into a pot of water, which she brought to a boil to soften the quince. She ran the mixture through a cheese cloth and let it sit to drip.
“The taste is very tart like a really unripe apple, and the fruit is hard,” Clair said. “You couldn’t just eat it raw. I had to be patient and let it drip and not squeeze it or the jelly would turn out cloudy."
Once she finishes collecting the juice she will be making jelly.
The juice will need to have sugar added, be brought to a boil and poured into jars. A quince is a fruit that is high in pectin, so it’s an easy jelly to make and get to set. It is mostly used as an ornamental tree and grows on all continents in warm-temperature and temperate climates.
This is the second year in a row Clair said she has made a fun, fruity discovery. Last year she discovered she could make jam out of berries produced by Oregon Grape bushes.
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