Botanical Treasures

Quince steeping for shrub

Quince, Cinnamon-Basil and Rose Shrub

A beautiful way to use seasonal fruit and preserve it to enjoy even longer.

I share this recipe by using "parts" vs actual measurements so that you can utilize whatever quantity of quince that you have on hand. Volume, not weight.  I used dry-measuring cups for all ingredients.


2 parts Quince, peeled and cut into chunks

Sprig of fresh Basil or sprinkling of dried basil

1 part Apple Cider Vinegar*

0.5 part Sugar or Honey 

0.5 part Water

Optional: a sprinkling of Rose petals during cooking, and/or a splash of rosewater after cooked.

Quince steeping


Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and stir to combine. Simmer over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved and the quince has softened to that of a cooked apple or pear.  With the exception of stirring, I keep it covered believing (but not proven) that some of the essence can escape with steam. 

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place the entire content of the sauce pan in a container to refrigerate for up to 24 hours but at least 8.  

Strain thoroughly, twice if necessary, through fine mesh or cheese cloth. (keep solid parts for bonus recipes below)

Pour into airtight container(s) and refrigerate safely for a month; however I find with the vinegar content that they last longer. 

*Champagne vinegar would be a lovely substitute for the apple cider vinegar.

BONUS!  I couldn't bear to throw away the steeped Quince so I pureed it in a Vitamix and jarred it for a Quince preserve.  Its taste is unique because of the vinegar but it is lovely on crackers with cheese; drizzled with honey for added decadence.  Keep refrigerated.  But wait, there's more...

Because I was working with what may well have been 10# of quince, I used the rest of the puree to make a Quince sweet & sour Fruit Leather.  I spread it thinly (1/8-1/4" thick) onto oven-safe saran wrap lined baking sheet and put in oven at lowest temperature setting for 8 hours.  I knew it was done when the top was no longer impressionable with my finger and I could pull it easily from the saran wrap.  Cool and cut with the fruit leather attached to the saran wrap into squares to roll up individually.  Stores well in refrigerator or freezer. 


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