oven poached quince
When I saw quince in the fruit market I brought a few home with me. I decided to poach them and dived into my copy of Stephanie Alexanders 'The Cooks Companion' for a recipe.
Quince are tough little numbers so you need a sharp knife to deal with them. Some people pot roast them whole but I find trying to remove the peel, seeds and core from the cooked quince a bit too fiddly for my liking.
Quince are inedible unless cooked and they need long slow cooking. As they cook they change colour from pale green to a rich ruby red. I initially cooked the quince for 2 hours and although they were cooked I wanted them to be ruby red, so I continued cooking them for a further 2 hours. You can see how the colour changes with cooking time.
Here's the recipe for you and it's beauty is in it's simplicity.
Stephanie's poached quince
6 quinces, washed and peeled
2.25 litres light sugar syrup
1 vanilla bean
juice of 1 lemon
To make the light sugar syrup, heat 2 parts water to 1 part sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Cut quinces into quarters or sixths. Cut out cores and tie loosely in a piece of muslin. Put sugar syrup in a cast-iron pot with vanilla bean, lemon juice and muslin bag, then add quince. Cover tightly and bake in oven for at least 4 (and up to 8) hours until quince is deep red. Do not stir or the quince may break up.
Split the vanilla bean and scrape seeds into the syrup. I reduced the syrup over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Cool the quince in the syrup.
I can't really describe the taste of quince. It really is unique. So far I've eaten the poached fruit with some stewed apple and yoghurt and I've served it with pannacotta. I found a recipe for quince cake that I'm dying to try so if I get round to making it, I'll share that with you.
See you all again soon,