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SethG

Quinces

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I bought a couple quinces this morning out of curiosity. I know people use them in baking, but that's all I know.

What do YOU do with them? Are they ever eaten out of hand?

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They are never eaten out of hand, unless you like extremely hard fruits that are tasteless. But, I love keeping Quinces around the house because the smell warms up the room on a cold winter day. You can cook it with a sugar and some lemon and make a jam out of them, you can make them into a compote with some cinnamon and cardamon and serve them over ice cream, or you can cut them into cubes, par-boil them and stir it with some onions , apples, and rosemary to make a nice accompaniment to a firm fleshed fish (my friend also have tried this with quails and chicken). By the way, a tea made of boiled quince peels, cinnamon and lemon with some honey is the best thing for a bad cold.

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Elizabeth Schneider (my goddess when it comes to fruits and vegetables) has very good information in Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables. Some handy hints:

Quince requires cooking to be edible, unlike most fruits. Its very firm, dryish flesh seldom softens to eating texture or develops enough sugar to be enjoyed raw. . . . If you wish to perfume a room, store quinces at room temperature for a week or so. For longer storage, wrap each fruit in a double layer of plastic and refrigerate where it won't be bumped. While quinces bruse easily, they last for months. . . .

She gives recipes for Honey-Baked Quince Slices; Chicken Baked with Quinces; Stew of Quinces and Lamb with Saffron and Split Peas; Quince Conserve with Vanilla; Quince Marmalade with Lemon and Ginger; Quince and Almond Tart; Quince Paste Candy (aka Membrillo); and Quince Cordial.

Unless you are in the no-fruit-with-meat camp, try them in a stew or alongside meat. The chicken recipe above calls for gently stewing sliced quinces in apple juice to 30 to 50 minutes, then browning a cut-up chicken, deglazing the pan with the fruit liquid, and baking the whole thing until the chicken is done. Since the quince turns pink when cooked, it's quite lovely.


Edited by Suzanne F (log)

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My mother used to cook a delicious beef stew with quinces, a Belgian recipe with a tomato sauce base. I'm trying to remember if that was the dish that also used flat beer, Boeuf a la Flamande.

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Treat them like very hard pears: bake for an hour in a moderate oven, then peel.

Serve with cream and honey or chocolate.

Traditionally added to apples for pie or compote

Dont try to cut, peel or process raw, they are like iron.

Good pickled as well.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Suzanne, does this resemble Schneider's chicken recipe? I hope not; seems a bit fussy with the stock and the port.

Does Schneider call for any other spices? Perhaps some lemon?

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Quinces can be a great addition to an apple pie or tarte tatin because of the great acidity. Just cut considerably thinner than the apple slices or pre-poach so everything cooks evenly.

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Suzanne, does this resemble Schneider's chicken recipe? I hope not; seems a bit fussy with the stock and the port.

Does Schneider call for any other spices? Perhaps some lemon?

It's similar. But she calls for 4 quinces to one chicken. And instead of the stock and port, she uses 1 cup of fruity white wine. Cooks the quinces, adds a little light brown sugar and reduces the liquid to 1 cup. Then coats the chicken pieces with seasoned flour, browns them and dusts with the coriander, deglazes the pan (minus the fat) with the liquid, pours this over the chix in the baking dish. Bakes at 375, covered 15 minutes, then uncovered another 15.

You could always add some lemon; I might. Although using wine ups the acidity anyway.

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Whenever I think of quinces I think of my favorite Turkish desert. One that I used to eat during my trips to Turkey. It's called Ayva Tatlisi - basically they're candied quinces, served with a sort of clotted cream. They are truly fantastic!!! I found a recipe via Google and I'm sure you can find many more. Enjoy!

P.S. I have to admit that this is the ONLY form I've eaten quinces in!

http://recipes.chef2chef.net/recipe-archive/46/248870.shtml

~WBC

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two ways that i like to use them are cooked in red wine vinager and strained out,,,whisk in some good olive oil and dress a nice bitter salad of endive, radichio and arugula. another way is cook in red wine,,,puree and use as a sauce for foie gras or just sauted chicken livers, yummmm! :raz:

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Thanks to all for your advice. I think I will try Suzanne's chicken dish, some night this week. I'm thinking savory quince, not sweet, for some reason.

I've now been given yet another book to look for, as well!

P.S. We're talking coriander seed, not leaves, right? Thanks again.

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Membrillo!!! Truly the most delicious thing ever with cheese. The classic preparation is a slice of membrillo (imagine a loaf of condensed jam) with a piece of Manchego cheese. Pure heaven!

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I know you said you are leaning more toward savory quince preparations--but just wanted to put in another plug for thick quince jam. I made this for the first time last week and the result is truly magnificent. One always hears of the unique flavor of quinces and I was not disappointed--honey, rose, ginger flavors are all in there. Also because they are so high in pectin (the skins and cores, I believe) the texture is really great. Lastly, the pale yellow flesh turns a beautiful deep, dusky rose after being cooked. All in all, an amazing transformation for a rather ungainly looking fruit! Saveur mag (november) has a recipe for the jam; and a great looking recipe for using the jam in a quince frangipane tart that I am going to try.

Along more savory lines, Pauls Wolfert has some interesting quince recipes in her books. In "Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean" there is an intriguing recipe for "Quinces stuffed w/chicken, golden raisins and almonds". She recommends this as a great dish for a buffet table.

She also has a great recipe for "Duck w/Qunices". To quote, "The play of tart, fragrant quinces, against spice aromatic cinnamon bark and rich duck is unforgettable"

I think I may have to try this myself :smile:

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I know you said you are leaning more toward savory quince preparations--but just wanted to put in another plug for thick quince jam. I made this for the first time last week and the result is truly magnificent.

There is an an illustrated recipe in Autumn and Festive Preserves

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Okay, Jack, that looks pretty good. Maybe after the chicken I'll have to get some more quinces!

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It appears that the Saveur jam from the November issue has not been posted on their website, but the website does provide a big spread on the quince from 1996, along with several recipes.


Edited by SethG (log)

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It appears that the Saveur jam from the November issue has not been posted on their website, but the website does provide a big spread on the quince from 1996, along with several recipes.

Thanks for pointing out the other Saveur recipes on line SethG

I've seen lots of quince jam recipes around (including on the web site given above) and they all seem to follow this basic formula:

Get a bunch of quinces (at least 4 or 5).

Rub fuzz off quinces if they are so endowed.

Take 1/2 of the quinces and cut up into large pieces.

Put them in large pot including stems, peels, cores, etc (large source of pectin).

Cover w/water at least an inch over.

Simmer slowly for ~ 1 1/2 hours until soft.

Push through food mill to trap nubbly parts and return to pan.

Peel, core and stem remaining half of quinces and add to pan.

Cook slowly for another 1 1/2 hours or so until new quinces are soft. Stir as needed to prevent sticking or burning.

Pass entire mixture through food mill.

Weigh mixture and then return to pan.

Add equal weight of sugar to quince mixture.

Cook again until you reach desired thickness (at least an hour). Will need to stir more often to prevent sticking/burning.

Take off heat and add some lemon to taste.

Store covered in fridge and enjoy on your well-buttered Australian Toaster muffins or in a tart. :cool:

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I made Schneider's Chicken Baked with Quinces last night. Thank you, Suzanne! The quinces were great. I was a little underwhelmed by the pairing with chicken. I think they would make a great combo with pork chops, though.

Now on to the jam.


Edited by SethG (log)

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I've been making quince paste (membrillo) from my first crop. I like to cook the fruit with a little white wine and honey (or use a dessert wine), lemon juice, and zest. Then it's through the mouli and into a pan lined with an olive oiled piece of foil (makes it easier to flip the sheet of paste as it dries). I've dried the paste in the oven (old gas with pilot light) and in the driveway (during rare warm and sunny fall days), but my little delongi convection oven has a drying feature that works really well.

Nigella's How to Eat has a recipe for a quince mostarda that's basically the jam with dry mustard to give it bite. It's very good with cheese, but you can't process it like jam because the heat neutralizes the mustard's bite.

Jim

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I love to cut a quince into wedges which I blanch for about 5 minutes and then sauté in butter. Cooked this way quince is a wonderful accompaniment to pork, squab or any game meat.


Edited by Ruth (log)

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I love to cut a quince into wedges which I blanch for about 5 minutes and then sauté in butter. Cooked this way quince is a wonderful accompaniment to pork, squab or any game meat.

Thanks for that simple recipe; it sounds wonderful.

And although I really enjoyed making the jam; this sounds like a great way to use quinces more often.

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quince paste! :wub:

Yes, please, if you haven't tried quince paste (membrillo) with some nice sharp cheese, do so!

Upon arriving in Australia last year, I shared a cheese plate with a fellow backpacker. It was served with a lump of the stuff, but I had no idea what it was. It was so good that I obsessed over it for over a month, and only found out what it was when I stumbled across Maggie Beer's version (Maggie Beer = South Australia's Martha Stewart. um, but without the millions of dollars and annoying commercial tie-ins). I immediately got my Aussie friends hooked on it. I loaded up on it when it was time to leave, along with some interesting 'cabernet paste' I found at her shop in the Barossa.

Oh, man. I want some now. I wonder if I can find quince in Germany. :smile:

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