How to savour a quince.

June 6, 2017

Words by Kit

QUINCE!

Just saying the name of this ‘rare’ fruit gets the mouth salivating 🙂

Recently we received a huge one in our OOOOBY box – about the size of a rock melon – and were then prompted to experiment with it.

Without the childhood memories of my mother baking quince overnight in the slow-combustion AGA stove, and hearing her warm pleasure when biting into the soft, dark pink flesh, I wouldn’t have taken an interest.

But they come into their own once cooked.  Words that are used to describe the scent (whether ripening on the window pane, or baking) are ‘perfumed’, ‘a combination of vanilla, rose, pineapple’, or ‘citrus, apple and aromatic.’

Quinces are large yellow lumpy pear-like fruits with dry flesh. You don’t eat them raw (they’re bland and like blotting-paper) We used to find them on roadside trees.

To cook, easy. Slice into a glass or ceramic baking dish, add sweetener – dates and rice malt do a nice job, and bake for 45 minutes or more at 160 degrees.

You can also stew them on the top of the stove. Or a paste (like solid jam) can be made by stewing them till cooked, then removing the liquid, adding more sugar and cooking slowly on the top of the stove for one hour.  This paste is found in Middle-eastern, Vietnamese and Greek cuisine, and is served with hard cheese.

Quince Chutney via thekitchn.com

Makes about 3 cups

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds quinces (about 3), peeled, cored, and diced
  • *
½ c dried fruit (instead of sugar)
  • ½ c rice malt (also sweetener)
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Heat the oil in a deep, non-reactive (stainless steel or enamel) saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are translucent.

Add remaining ingredients to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about an hour or until the consistency is thick and jammy.

Serve chutney at room temperature. May be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks

 

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