Thursday 24 March 2011

Discovering Quinces

Slow-Cooked Vanilla Quinces
from The Country Cookbook: Seasonal jottings and recipes, Belinda Jeffery, Lantern an imprint of Penguin Books, 2010.

Seeing a recipe for quinces in this book and not having a lot of knowledge about the fruit, I went looking for them. There they were. This book being arranged in months you can be fairly sure that the ingredients are in season.

Thankfully the conversational tone of the recipe helped immeasurably when cooking, warning about oxidation and the difficulty of cutting the fruit up. It was really tough to get at the flesh but once the preparation was done the cooking was a breeze.

I had not thought that the skins and cores would have to be cooked first to make a stock to cook the flesh in but the results were so good.

The fruit turns a beautiful pink colour when it is cooked over a long time and it looks really appetising. It tastes great too. 

We had it with vanilla ice-cream at one time and then with cream straight from the container at another. I preferred the cream as it tends to moderate the sweetness a little.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Quince facts

Caught up with the thrill of the quinces I went looking for more information.
• They are related to apples and pears
• Apparently Turkey is the world’s top producer of the fruit  
• There are a couple of varieties that do ripen sufficiently to eat
• It is believed that the golden apple that Paris awarded to Aphrodite was actually a quince. I wonder if it was a quince that Eve offered to Adam.

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