Recently I had been given Nawal Nasrallah’s recent translation of 14th century Egyptian cookbook “Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table” or Kanz al-fawāʾid fī tanwīʿ al-mawāʾid. I thought to try out a few of the recipes for digestives, although there is only one included in this post. From page 252, recipe number 353, Sharab laymun safarjali (concentrated syrup for lemon-quince drink).
Take a quince, peel it, cut into pieces, and remove the seeds. Boil it in water until it softens and is half cooked. Put the quince aside, and keep the boiling liquid.
Dissolve sugar in the water and boil it until it thickens. Throw in the reserved liquid in which the quince was boiled, and resume boiling it until the syrup is thick enough. Throw in the [boiled] quince and bring it to the boil once or twice, and then remove it. Squeeze one or two lemons on it, and scent it with rosewater.
3 quinces (peeled, cored and chopped)
5 cups water
2 & 1/2 cups raw sugar
3 tablespoons rosewater
Boil the water & quince together until tender.
Remove quince, add sugar and a few strips of lemon peel from the lemons. Boil until half reduced.
While reducing liquid, squeeze two lemons and strain to remove pips.
After liquid has reduced, remove peel and return quinces to pot.
After fruit has fallen apart, mash/blitz with blender. Add lemon juice and rosewater. Strain into jars.