Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Autumnal delights - using up the last of the quinces

Seize the opportunity to cook with these beautiful, exotic, mysterious fruits while you can. Most good greengrocers and supermarkets are selling them at the moment. This is a lovely, autumnal recipe, which fills the kitchen with gorgeous aromas of roses and pears whilst cooking. The flesh of the quince is surprisingly rock-hard, so as you can see from the photo, I left the woody cores in whilst cooking the fruit. Feel free to cut them out if you are feeling more dexterous than I was! Serve the baked quinces as a dessert with yoghurt or crème fraîche, or with cooked meats for a main course. A couple of cold slices of bakes quince make a delicious accompaniment to cheese and biscuits too.
I’ve decided to get a quince tree for the garden. Having looked into varieties, I am thinking the Serbian Gold might be good. Do, please, let me know if you have any recommendations (@gofreecakes on Twitter)
Baked quince with honey and spices
Serves 4
3 large quinces
5 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
450 ml water
5 tbsp honey
5 cloves
2 star anise
Juice from 1 lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4
  2. Cut the quinces in half. I like to leave the peel on, but you can peel the fruit. They do brown very quickly though, so work quickly at this stage of the recipe
  3. Pour the water into the pan, and add the sugar, honey, lemon juice and spices.
  4. Place the quince into the water as soon as they are cut (and peeled, if you are peeling them)
  5. Poach for around 10 minutes until they give a little when you inset a knife
  6. Place the poached quince into a large baking dish and cover them with a little of the cooking water (around 1/3 of liquid works well)
  7. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until soft
  8. I core the fruit once it is cooked, by scooping the core out with a spoon as I find it easier to do this once the fruit is cooked

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