Thursday, 21 October 2010

One day my quince will come

You know you lead a quiet life when buying a quince is the most exciting thing that happens all day, but then I had never actually seen one before. Despite having eaten quince, seen pictures of quince and of course calling my blog after the sour, bright yellow colour of the fruit, I was delighted to bag one all of my own. So, now - what to do with the rock-hard, horny skinned blighter?

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Baked quinces

“This versatile fruit in all its perfumed, dimpled ugliness is perfect for savoury or sweet dishes.”

4 cups sugar
8 cups water
6 star anise
2 cinnamon quills
peel of 1 orange
2 vanilla beans, split in half
1 tsp cloves
6 quinces

Chef: Brigitte Hafner

Combine the sugar and water with the spices and orange zest, bring to the boil and stir. Turn off the heat when the sugar is dissolved. Heat the oven to 160C.

Peel, quarter and core the quinces, but do not discard the skins and cores. Lay the quartered quinces in a deep ovenproof dish and pour over the sugar syrup. If you have a muslin cloth lay it over the quinces, then scatter over the peel and cores to save picking them out when cooked and cooled.

Cover with baking paper then a sheet of foil, tucked in at the sides. Cook 4-5 hours or until the quinces are a deep, rosy red.

Cool in the syrup, then place the quince quarters in jars without the skins and cores and cover with the strained liquid. They will keep in the fridge for weeks.