Make Me Quince

November 12, 2009

Ooh. Ahh.

Ooh. Ahh.

This is quince, a member of the rose family. A quince looks like a lumpy, mishapen and acid-yellow pear. Pick one up, bring it to your nose and inhale. It will flood your brain with the most haunting floral fruit fragrance. There is nothing like quince. They are not good to eat raw as they are granite hard, super astringent and sour. But poached? Divine. As you can see, they turn a stunning foxy red. And the flavour? Amazing. Why not pick up a couple of quince next time you see them at the market?

Makes about 2 cups

2 ripe quince, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

1/3 cup agave

2/3 cup water, divided

tiny pinch of sea salt

1/2 vanilla bean, seeded

In a small saucepan, combine agave with 1/3 cup water, sea salt and vanilla. Reserve the remaining 1/3 cup of water to add during cooking. Bring contents of saucepan to a simmer over low-ish heat. Add quince to pan and arrange in a single layer, or as your pan allows. Let simmer and caramelize without turning for about half an hour, adding a tablespoon or so of water as needed. Your home will be filled with the perfume of quince. Turn the entire pan on the burner if you notice that some of the quince are getting too dark. Carefully turn each quince wedge over – they will be darkening to that gorgeous foxy-red colour on one side, and becoming sticky. Cook for another half an hour, adding a little water here and there if needed. Quince are loaded with pectin, so the gorgeous syrup that is resulting is probably really thick and speckled prettily with vanilla bean. Remove from heat and allow to cool a lot before tasting. Sweet, syrupy and sour. Really good in your morning cereal for a treat. Great with roast pork. Astonishingly yummy over vanilla ice cream while still warm.

Poison Apple

Golden Quince

Fact or fiction? Quince may have been the proverbial apple that Eve offered Adam.


One Response to “Make Me Quince”

  1. katie said

    that colour is unbelievable..blows my mind every time. I ADORE quince…

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