Try to get your hands on some free quince – don’t buy it – I suspect those with quince trees can’t give it away! I’d never cooked quince before… eaten it, but not cooked it. But having been given some by relatives and as it was raining buckets and baby and I were staying home anyway, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn what deliciousness could be conjured from these strange fruit.
Quinces really can’t be eaten in their raw form – the flesh is dry and astringent, as Brandon Matzek correctly describes in his post. I’ve taken his recipe for poached quinces, and though I made a silly error by adding in twice as many cardamom pods as required, these are wonderfully sweet and aromatic – and perfect eaten as they are with plain or sweetened yoghurt (or mascarpone, if you’re into that).
Taken from KitchenKonfidence
7 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 lemon, cut in half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
5 green cardamom pods
6 slices of peeled fresh ginger
6 large quince
In a large pot, combine water, sugar, honey, lemon, vanilla, cardamom and ginger. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
While the mixture is coming to a boil, peel, quarter and core each quince. As you finish prepping each quince, add quarters to the pot with the poaching liquid. When exposed to air, peeled quince can turn brown quickly, so get them into the water right away.
Cut a round of baking paper the size of your pot. Also cut a small hole in the middle of the parchment round. Once you’ve added all quarters to the pot, cover with the parchment round and a plate.
As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, drop heat to low and simmer until the quince are knife-tender. To test, insert the tip of a knife into one of the quarters. If it meets no resistance, they are done. This can take 1 to 1.5 hours.
Store poached quince in their liquid in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.
Not one to leave well enough alone, I decided to make some of the fruit into another dessert, by adding a crumble topping and baking it in the oven. I discovered not so long ago, that Anzac biscuit mixture makes an excellent fruit topping for crumble. And so, in between feeding, rocking and kissing the baby, I set to and made the mix.
Anzac Crumble Topping
*Adding only half of the butter/syrup mixture to the flour mixture, stir to combine until the dough is just moist but still crumbly enough to press over the already cooked fruit. Bake in moderate oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Eat warm with lashings of yoghurt (or cream or ice cream as you desire)… too good!
*I made biscuits with the remaining mixture and sent them with Alex to work.