It is good with cheese.
Cotignac d’Orléans is a jelled fruit candy sold in small round fir boxes. Legend says that Joan of Arc was given a box when she liberated Orleans in 1429, so her picture is often on the boxes.
⅔ weight of very ripe quinces
⅓ weight of sugar
Peel and quarter quinces, removing seeds. Bring the quinces to boil in some water until soft. Put them in muslin, press to extract the juice. Boil the juice with the sugar till the mixture reaches the jelly stage (108 to 114 C.) As it starts to thicken, pour it into the wood boxes.
Recipe from Charles Chavanette of Chocolaterie Royale (founded 1920, closed February 2009) in Orléans
Some recipes have you put the seeds in muslin and boil them in the juice.
The knowledge of making Cotignac d’Orleans was reputedly brought to Orléans by someone from the village of Cotignac in the south of France.
During the late middle ages, it was called “Coudougnat.” Up till 1500s, recipes for it had spices in them such as black pepper and ginger. The spices began to disappear in French versions around then.
Literature & Lore
“Cotignac of Quinces — TO MAKE QUINCE MARMALAD RED OR WHITE: Boyle your quinces till they bee very soft in water, then take them up, & when they are through cold, pare them & take the softest of them, & way to every pound of it a pound of sugar, boyle it till it come to candy, then put in the pap of your quinces, and stir it well togither, then put it in boxes, & so dry it; if you will have it red, put in a pint of water to a pound of sugar, boil it & scum it, then put in your quinces, in pretie big pieces, cover it close & let it boil, till it be red, then stir it togither, & boil it till it be thick inough, then put it in boxes, & so keep it.” — Spurling, Hilary, Editor. Elinor Fettiplace’s Receipt Book. New York: Viking Penguin Press. 1986. [Ed: Elinor Fettiplace lived from 1570 – 1647.]
The village of Cotignac in the south of France started holding an annual quince festival in October around 2002, called la “Fête du Coing.”