Here’s a simple recipe for the best fruit of the season! Ok, that’s quite a statement, it’s just that their season is so short down here in Melbourne that my excitement really gets the better of me. The less attractive but more interesting cousin (always preferred those myself) of apple and pear, quince is basically inedible raw but comes into its own when it is slowly poached. The knobbly and green giant renders into submission to become a seductive red and dreamily aromatic. Unlike its cousins, quince has a complex flavour and a heady aroma that is, dare I say it, a little intoxicating. Fruit crush? Probably.
Generally quinces are cooked in a bucket load of refined sugar, and whilst delicious, I find it pretty unnecessary. Here I have substituted in coconut sugar, which tends to darken the syrup and fruit considerably. Slightly less pretty, but a lot better for you – it’s an easy choice! It is less intensely sweet, but I still find it enough so for breakfast or for teaming with icecream. Another benefit of not using so much sugar is the flexibility of being able to pair the quince with savouries such as a Moroccan tagine or dips platter, without them seeming out of place
Add the poached quinces to crumbles or cakes, or serve them with coconut yoghurt, muesli, granola or porridge. Enjoy xx
Oven Poached Quince
One of the most vertisile poached fruits, add these to your morning granola/muesli/porridge, yoghurt, cakes, crumbles, Moroccan tanginess, or serve with chips and dips. This recipe has substantially less sugar than many conventional poached quince recipes, I find it adequately sweet, but add more if you prefer. Due to the colour of coconut sugar, the quince turn out a darker and more brown shade of red.
Adapted from Apple’s Under My Bed’s “Oven Poached Quince”
Serves 8-10, depending on use.
Oven Poached Quince
1.25kg | 4 medium quince
875ml | 3.5 cup water
140g | 1 cup coconut sugar
Spices (optional, pick and choose)
1 strip of orange or lemon peel
1 cinnamon or cassia stick
1 star anise
6 black pepper corns
1 split vanilla bean or tsp of vanilla powder
Set your oven to 150C.
In a saucepan heat the water and coconut sugar on high till sugar has dissolved, 5 min. Set aside.
Peel the quince – this is optional, if their skin is thin and not furry then you can leave it. Quarter and core the quince, and cut to desired size – I like 8ths. To stop browning, as you cut each piece put it directly in the sugar syrup.
If your saucepan is oven safe, add your chosen spices and cover. If not, transfer to an oven safe dish and over with a lid or foil. Bake in the oven for 4-8 hours. The longer that you cook them the darker red they will become.
Refrigerate the quinces, covered and submerged in their syrup, for up to a week. You can reduce (cook down) the syrup once you’ve eaten all the quinces for an intensely flavoured condiment.