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SethG

Quinces

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gsquared   

I like to make a quince relish: Finely diced quince, finely diced red onion (about 1/5th of the quince in quantity), finely diced bell pepper (same quantity as onion), sugar, vinegar. Cook over low heat until soft and the liquid has evaporated. If the quince is not tender when the liquid is gone, add a tablespoon or two of water and continue cooking until soft. It keeps for a week or so in the fridge and goes well with pork, chicken or duck.


Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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If you have a tree (if you have the space for a medium sized tree it is well worth it as they are very beautiful and fill the area with scent at night) and you have very ripe quinces, you could just about eat some raw, although this would be a waste.

In Morocco they cook tagine with quince and there are several Persian stews that use quince. In the EGCI pasta coarse there is a recipe for a quince ravioli (n.b. shameless plug). They make an excellent jelly and when cooked are great for all manner of desserts.

Regarding there cooking. If you simmer them in sweetened water they will be soft in about half an hour. At this stage they will be a light yellow colour with a touch of pink. If you cook them longer they will develop the pink colour, eventually becoming a deep ruby red colour. This works if simmered, but they can fall apart. Much better to oven bake them. Take the fruit, peeled, cored and quatered, mix with vanilla sugar and put in a oven proof pot, that has a lid. Place in oven (160.C) and bake for 5 hours, baste occasionally with juices. If the begin to dry out add liquid as you do not want the sugar to caramelize an burn.

At this stage they can be eaten with ice cream etc or use for tart tartin, pies, crumbles, cobblers, flans or even trifles. A nice 'trifle' is PX sherry flavoured custard, with quince, crushed amaretti and toasted almonds.

The are my favourite fruit.


Edited by Adam Balic (log)

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SethG   

That was a beautiful testimonial, Adam! I wish I had a yard in which to grow a quince tree.

So I happened to see a used copy of Schneider's Uncommon Fruits & Vegetables yesterday, and of course I couldn't just put it back on the shelf, so now I own it. Having looked over the chicken/quince recipe, I see that I used way too much apple juice, which may have sent the sweetness of the dish over the top.

Oh, well, don't look back, as Bob Dylan said. About someone else. Whatever.

Onward to membrillo! I plan to pick up a bunch of quinces this weekend if I have time, and some Manchego.

Some other interesting facts from Schneider's book:

1. You can buy a large number of quinces when they become available, and they will keep for months in the refrigerator.

2. Even if a quince is bruised, it will probably not matter once the fruit is cooked.

3. The word "marmalade" is derived from the Portugese word for the quince.

4. The quince used to be very well known and widely eaten here in the U.S.A.; it is the decline in home canning that has led to its current marginal commercial status.

This morning, I was on the subway (in NYC) headed to work, reading Laurie Colwin's More Home Cooking, and what should I come upon but a chapter devoted to making jam. Colwyn's chapter is devoted to plum jam, but still I had jam so much on my mind that I missed my stop and had to turn around and take another train!


Edited by SethG (log)

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Seth, you managed to mention two of my favorite food writers in one post! :biggrin: Yes, that's the Schneider book with the recipe I referred to. And isn't (wasn't :sad:) Laurie Colwin wonderful?

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1. You can buy a large number of quinces when they become available, and they will keep for months in the refrigerator.

3. The word "marmalade" is derived from the Portugese word for the quince.

If have ripe quinces put them in a bowl as they will last for about four weeks and they will fill the room with scent. They also look purty.

We had some discussion on quince = marmalade in the past:

Ye Olde eGullete Stuff

Another interesting, thing is that the "Golden Apples" in Greek myths, were likely to be quinces.

There is a flowering Japanese quince that produces very small fruit. I have never eaten them, but they smell very strongly of violets. Also purty.

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SethG   
Seth, you managed to mention two of my favorite food writers in one post!  :biggrin: Yes, that's the Schneider book with the recipe I referred to. And isn't (wasn't :sad:) Laurie Colwin wonderful?

I haven't read any of her novels, but I thoroughly enjoyed both of the Home Cooking books. Her experience of food as a comforting presence, grounding the cook in his or her culture and tradition, is something I'm very jealous of. I hope to attain this kind of relationship with my cooking someday. For now, however, lacking a family tradition of cooking to fall back upon, I'm more of an indiscriminate student of all styles and techniques.

I don't know anything about her very untimely death, but you really feel the loss as you read her essays about feeding her husband and child.

Edit: and thanks for the link, Adam!


Edited by SethG (log)

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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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

Jim, will you share your recipe?


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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It might be a stretch to call this a recipe, and I make the paste a bit differently every time, but here's my basic approach:

Cut up 3-4 quince, removing the core. You can peel them if you want, but the food mill step removes the cooked peel (and the seeds, too, for that matter). I'm only speculating, but I think the peel adds some pectin.

Simmer the fruit in a cup or so of white wine (or a dry rose) mixed with a tablespoon or so of honey. You can use a dessert win like moscato or Sauternes, but the white wine and honey gives a similar flavor and is cheaper ( I got this from the author of a New Way to Cook...can't remember her name...who was on A Splendid Table one night). Add the juice and zest of a lemon, too.

When the quince are soft and pink, cool and put through a food mill (small screen). Taste, add a pinch of good salt, and adjust sweetness if necessary. It doesn't need to be too sweet.

Lightly oil a piece of foil (I use olive oil, natch) and line a baking pan big enough to hold the cooked fruit in a layer about a half inch thick. Dry slowly in a very low oven, in the sun (cover with screen to keep the flies off), or in a food dryer (or a convection oven with drying feature, which seems to be the fan and the heat from the lightbulb).

When the top is pretty dry and it seems like you can move the whole piece as a unit, flip it over and dry a little longer. Cut up, wrap, and store forever(I keep mine in the refrigerator, but don't know if it's necessary).

I make a fig paste the same way. I've put nuts in it, and I've got some marcona almonds that I may add to the next batch of quince paste. I've still got a few pounds of fruit in the garage (which smells great).

Nigella's mostarda di venezia is basically the same thing: quince cooked in white wine with lemon, sweetened with sugar (and more, so it's sweeter), and spiked with dry mustard. She also adds candied fruit, which I didn't. And you don't dry it into paste, but cook it to jam-like consistency. It's very good with cheese.

Jim


olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Lawen   

Ah, Quinces. I recently had quinces for the first time in a couple different formats and really enjoyed them both ways. The first was on my recent trip to Paris where I ate at Christian Constant's Le Violon D'Ingres. He had a (phenomenal) starter of duck foie gras rolled in gingerbread crumbs and seared with "quince perserves" which were actually more akin to "preserved quince" as they were still effectively whole. They kind of reminded me of a spiced pear and went really well with the ginger flavors. After realizing how much I liked quince I bought some jarred quince perserves and have found them to be *really* good on crusty bread with a bit of stilton. So I'd suggest making preserves with them. :biggrin:

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SethG   

I got a pile of quinces in my first delivery from Fresh Direct yesterday. They are perfuming my kitchen already. Will report on my membrillo later this week!


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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SethG   

So I made dulce de membrillo Wednesday night, using Jackal10's eGCI instructions, and it couldn't have been simpler. It was hard work pushing the quince paste through the sieve, though. My wrist hasn't been so sore since Julia and I had to make a gross of quenelles for a practical at Le Cordon Bleu. Ah, the old days, meeting Louisette and Simone for aperitifs in Montparnasse; debating Hitchcock with Francois and Jean-Luc...

but I digress.

I'd post a picture, but my membrillo looks just like Jackal10s. And my post is premature, since I'm letting it dry a little more before I cut it up, roll it in sugar, and eat it with Manchego. But I tasted a glop of it hot from the pan before it dried, and it was delicious.

Quinces! What have I been doing with my life?


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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SethG   

No one asked me to write a quince blog, but here I am, reporting anyway on my continuing quince adventures.

The dulce de membrillo was a treat. It is almost all gone now, sadly. I was kinda floored at the pairing with manchego. Who thought that up? So good; so unlikely!

I may try it again, but stop at jam instead of continuing to the candy stage. There's a million things upon which one could spread quince jam.

Last night I made a braised pork chop recipe in which I substituted quinces for pears. They tasted great.


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Alford & Duguid have a recipe in their new "Home Baking" for a bread baked with a whole quince in the center. I haven't tried it -- YET! The picture is quite striking!


Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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No one asked me to write a quince blog, but here I am, reporting anyway on my continuing quince adventures.

The dulce de membrillo was a treat. It is almost all gone now, sadly. I was kinda floored at the pairing with manchego. Who thought that up? So good; so unlikely!

I may try it again, but stop at jam instead of continuing to the candy stage. There's a million things upon which one could spread quince jam.

Last night I made a braised pork chop recipe in which I substituted quinces for pears. They tasted great.

As far as I am aware, the membrillo and manchego pairing is a classic Old School Spanish dessert thing. Isn't it just dreamy :wub: ? Ohmigish. I can't remember the last time I had this. I think I must go on a quest this week to feed this craving I've now created. :biggrin:

A close second to that pairing is the Goya Guava paste in the Spanish/Latino foods aisle with a small wad of cream cheese. Also an unlikely, but truly delicious pairing.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Quince is beginning to come into season here, and I picked up a couple of pounds at the farmer's market yesterday.

My pastry chef instructor demo'ed the use of quince in a tart. She cooked chunks of the fruit in a sugar syrup with an orange, cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves, then put the fruit into a tart shell and baked. While I enjoyed it, I felt like the other flavors overpowered the delicate flavor of the quince itself.

So what (if anything) do you do with quince? When I was in France in college, I remember having a lovely quince paste/gelee for dessert. It was cut into slabs, or thick slices, but I haven't the foggiest idea of how it's made.

And, for the science geeks out there, why does it change color so drastically when it cooks, going from a creamy pale color to that beautiful rose?


"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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a possible answer? :rolleyes:

more quince knowledge and recipes! :biggrin:

now this one I will try!

Loved the comment on this recipe:

A fragrant and delicious compote! The vanilla really complements the flavor of the quince. I haven't tried the accompanying mascarpone cheesecake, but I imagine that the compote would pair with it nicely. I can understand why the quince is sometimes referred to as fruit of the gods....

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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carswell   

Chicken and lamb tagines are the best use of the fruit, IMO. Sliced quince poached in sugar syrup makes a nice addition to a fall fruit compote. Quince paste is great, too. However, you can buy excellent imported pastes year round; fall is the only time of year you can make tagine with local (and relatively affordable) quinces.


Edited by carswell (log)

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jackal10   

Add some to an apple pie to appreciate the honeyed flavour

Pickle

Bake, like pears. In fact most pear recipes work. Although they are rock hard and difficult to peel raw, they soften when baked, so I bake them before working with them.

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I think I'll start with the quince paste, but it's great to know that there are also good uses on the savory side.

I imagine that a quince sorbet would be delightful.


"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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dlc   
I think I'll start with the quince paste, but it's great to know that there are also good uses on the savory side.

I imagine that a quince sorbet would be delightful.

Another fantastic dessert is a quince souflee. It lets the flavor of the fruit shine through. Just prepare a base using quince as you would for any other fruit flavored souflee

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SethG   
Another fantastic dessert is a quince souflee.  It lets the flavor of the fruit shine through.  Just prepare a base using quince as you would for any other fruit flavored souflee

That sounds amazing! I'm going to give that a try.

By the way, once I became quince-aware last year, I noticed that, in New York at least, decent-looking quinces from the southern hemisphere are available in the summer, at good prices. Not local produce, but if you don't particularly care about that sort of thing, I'd think that the quince would travel and keep better than just about any other fruit.


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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viva   

I second the apple recommendation. I had an awesome pie made with quinces first poached in dessert wine, then baked in the pie with apples and maybe a dash of Calvados. A very sophisticated twist on the traditional Thanksgiving apple pie.


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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last weekend i poached some quince witha little sugar, smushed them with some mace and powdered cinnamon, folded in some toasted walnuts and stuffed crepes with them. served with cognac-laced whipped cream.

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There was a thread where Jackal10 showed su how he made aquince paste in the cooking forum. I love making quince jam in the winter and I save the pip and peel for a lemon quince tea that works miracles for sore throats.


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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