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Our Poached Quince Recipe

Hello friends,

Today I thought I'd share our poached quince recipe with you. It's the perfect autumnal dessert to eat with vanilla ice cream on a cool night. And if you have any poached quince left over, just freeze it away to eat at a later date. Quinces are an acquired taste, just like feijoas, but once you've tried them, their wonderful aromatic taste will stay with you all year, as you impatiently wait for their autumn harvest once again.

The hardest part of the recipe, is probably finding quinces. When we lived in Wellington our local New World stocked them for a few weeks each autumn, so we bought them when we could, and made up a big batch to last us over the year. Now we live back home in Dunedin, it's a bit harder to find quinces, as local shops don't stock them. Luckily this year, I had an excess of pumpkins, and I swapped a big crown gray pumpkin for a box of quinces with an online friend, but this excess pumpkin harvest swapping adventure is a whole other story.

For this recipe you'll need:

3 - 4 ripe quinces

750 mL of water

1.5 cups of sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla pod (or 1 - 2 star anise if you can't get a vanilla pod)

The recipe:

1. Peel and core the quinces, chopping off any damaged sections. The fruit are quite brittle and hard, so it's a bit of a job to do. The fruit are unpleasant to eat raw, so I wouldn't advise trying it.

2. Chop the quinces into slices or cubes depending on how you'll want to eat them. The fruit will start to oxidise quickly (turn brownish), but don't worry about that, it'll all turn out okay in the end.

3. To a pot add the water and sugar, mix, and begin to heat to a simmer.

4. Add the quinces to the pot, and add the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. You can swap out the vanilla pod for star anise if you want, but personally I prefer the vanilla pod.

5. The next thing to do is to make a paper cartouche for the quince mixture. A cartouche is a parchment paper lid, and it covers the surface of the poaching mixture. It traps the steam, and keeps the components submerged in liquid. We just cut off a section of grease proof paper, and folded it so it fitted on top of the quince mixture. It is important to mold it to the mixture so it keeps everything wet.

6. With the lid of the pot off, heat the mixture up, and then let it simmer for an hour. Over time the quinces will slowly change colour, changing from a creamy yellow, to a dark rose pink. This is the colour at the 30 minute mark, it hasn't changed to a pink shade yet.

7. This is the colour at the 60 minute mark. The quinces now are a rose pink, but not quite dark enough. If you do a taste test you'll find them still slightly bitter, but the quinces will be soft like cooked apples.

8. What you are looking for is a slightly darker shade of rose pink, and the quinces will taste highly aromatic. When you're happy with the flavor and taste, remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod (or star anise) from the mixture. Remove the pot from the heat.

9. The only thing left to do is eat it, storing any left overs in the fridge or freezer. I recommend having it while still warm (or re-heating in the microwave), with some good quality vanilla ice cream. The vanilla ice cream really brings out the aromatic quince flavor.

I hope you get a chance making our poached quince recipe yourself over the autumn season, they really are a wonderful fruit. We currently have a fresh batch stored in the fridge to eat this week, and also a couple of frozen batches stored away for later on in autumn and winter.

Please let me know if you give this recipe a go, and tell me what you think of it.

Have a wonderful day.


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