With green golden hued skin and a heady pleasant fragrance, quince are often described as a combination of an apple and pear. However, they are far less ubiquitous and have a vastly different flavour.
Raw they are inedible, with hard, astringent, bitter flesh, but slow, gentle cooking transforms them into a delicious, soft amber fruit.
Recipe created by Nourish cook and Dietitian, Clare Gray.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 ½ hours
150ml of white wine, dessert wine such as Muscat works particularly well (if you would prefer to keep this alcohol-free, cloudy apple juice also works well)
100ml of water
2-4 tablespoons of good quality honey (if you are using a dessert wine, use less honey)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
2 fresh bay leaves
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
2 cardamom pods
zest of 1 lemon, finely pared
Mascarpone, Greek yoghurt or thick cream to serve
- Preheat the oven to 150°C
- Peel the quinces and cut into quarters lengthways. At this point it can be less labour intensive to not remove the leaves, core and pips, they can be removed after cooking
- Place the quince in a small roasting pan or baking tray.
- Combine the water and wine and pour over the fruit.
- Drizzle with honey and then scatter over the spices, bay leaves and lemon zest.
- Cover with foil and bake for 2 ½ hours.
- Turn the fruit after an hour and add more water if needed.
- Once cooked, the quince should be soft.
- Remove all of the cores.
Serve warm with mascarpone, Greek yoghurt or thick cream, drizzle with the remaining cooking liquid.