The clocks have gone back, the Summer mugs have been packed away and the Winter ones are out, my flat still smells of fruit cake and today I got some bargain quinces. They should have been a pound each which felt like a lot because these aren't the biggest quinces I've ever seen (though quite possibly they are the smallest) but I was prepared to bite the bullet and pay out to keep my friend R supplied with quince jelly (Diana Henry has a lot to answer for Sugar Salt Smoke is still my favourite cookbook, her quince and star anise jelly is fantastic) when happily they were reduced to 19p a piece. Much better. It seems Leicestershire cooks are indifferent to quinces (Waitrose's loss is my gain) I'm slowly coming round to them but they've always been to expensive to really go crazy with so my experiments are mostly jelly based. I planted a quince this year but it refused to put out so much as a leaf so they remain as elusive as ever which is a shame because just the smell of the fruit is enough to make me want to have it around.
It's a smell that pales by comparison to fruit cakes though - all that citrus and spice is heady stuff, and I love the way the fruity and syrupy ingredients look, it's part of what makes baking such a pleasure - which is why this is basically going to be a picture post. Maybe autumn isn't so grim after all.