First I want to make it clear that I refer here to the Mediterranean fruit Cydonia oblonga and not the much smaller fruit Cydonia japonica which grow on the Cheanomelis, sometimes also called Japonica, shrubs. Quinces are called marmelos in Portuguese (membrillos in Spanish) where a delicious quince cheese called marmelada is made. Incidentally marmalade - the English orange jam - was first made with quinces.
When we moved to this house, back in 1983, we planted a lot of fruit trees and even though we had run out of space at the back, I felt that we must have a quince tree as well. Eventually we found room for it in the front garden and it has become a focus of attention when it is in blossom and later on loaded with golden fruit. With such reliable cropper I found myself tired of making so much marmelada - the Portuguese quince cheese - and felt that I had to find different ways of processing the crop. Then I remembered that Dorothy Stones, a famous mathematician and an old friend of ours, once told me that she freezes quinces and just eats them when defrosted, she said that they are lovely and not so astringent. After that I also had a good look at Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish Food and then I knew that baked quinces were going to become part of our diet.
So now I make marmelada and store it in jars or dry it in trays to be cut up later in squares.
Plus I freeze a few bags of partially boiled quinces and then make the most delicious jelly with the water left over.
In other words nothing is wasted but I am busy for three weeks.