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Quince recipes [moved from General Chowhounding]

  • m

I just got a case of quince (40 count) at work and I'm going to cook some of them down into jam. Does anybody have any favorite recipes (including jam)? Thanks in advance!

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  1. Make jelly, not jam. Quince jelly is both tasty and lovely to look at, which quince butter/jam is not.

    While you're at it make quince syrup, too (thin jelly). Very good on pancakes, french toast, etc.

    1. c
      Caitlin Wheeler

      Another good one if you get tired of canning and cooking and eating is to make quince brandy -- wash the quinces well, cut into quarters or eighths, and put them in a big jar and fill to the top with brandy. Add a half a cinnamon stick, and a teensy piece of star anise if you like (it can have an overwhelming flavor). In six weeks, you'll have a lovely flavored digestif.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caitlin Wheeler

        Sounds like a good idea. I have way too many quinces. Do you store it in the fridge?

      2. Quince Marmalade, French Provincial Cooking, Elizabeth David:

        "It was from 'marmelo,' the Portuguese name for quince, that the word marmalade came into the French and English languages.

        "Rub the fruit with a cloth to remove the down; put it in a preserving pan and cover completely with cold water. Simmer until the fruit is soft enough to pierce with a thin skewer; don't let it cook until the skins break. Extract the fruit, and when cool enough to handle, peel, slice and core it. Return the cores and the skins to the same water in which the fruit has cooked, and boil until reduced by about a third, when the juice will have just begun to take on the characteristic cornelian color of quince jelly.

        "Strain this through a cloth. Weigh the sliced fruit; add its equivalent in white sugar. Put the sugar and fruit, together with the strained juice, back into the preserving pan and boil gently until the fruit is soft and translucent and the juice sets to jelly. Skim off any scum that has risen to the surface before turning off the flame. Put into warmed jam jars, cover with a round of paper dipped in brandy and tie down when cool."

        I myself would go to the trouble of a boiling-water bath for the filled jars.

        I don't pooh-pooh quince butter the way Sharuf does, either. I just opened a jar that I got as a gift and it is ambrosia.

        Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: heidipie

          It's the appearance of the lovely jelly that beats the jam/butter version. An esthetic preference. Flavor-wise they're probably equal.

        2. I've made jelly from quince poach that has been used 2 or 3 times.Reduce it Slowly,and you will obtain a deep red,delicious jelly.I make poach by boiling the peel and cores in water,then strain out the juice;add sugar and some white wine for acidity...and poach the quince slowly,at a low simmer.Jam has to be made the same way-by very slowly cooking the sweetened puree,stirring,stirring,until it becomes thick.Quince contains a lot of natural pectin,and jells quite a bit on its' own.

          1 Reply
          1. re: M.K.

            If you can reduce the liquid at a low temperature; say 80 degrees Fahrenheit , in a vacuum, you will save all the subtle flavors that would otherwise be boiled off. Vacuum distilling equipment has gotten pretty cheap of late, and is being used by many chefs and hobbyists.

          2. Lucky you! A quince grated into an apple pie adds a lovely flavor. Quince cheese--what the English call sort of solid sliceable jam--is also heavenly (make it the same way you do jam--just cook it a lot longer and thicker.) Any apple jam/butter/jelly recipe if you add a few quinces is in fantastic.

            1. Make applesauce, add a few quinces (and pears). The result is wonderful. Flavor with a little cardamom and nutmeg, I think. See Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (I think that's the title).

              1. Quince Curd is divine, I found this Australian recipe last year at http://www.abc.net.au/tasmania/storie.... It is too yummy, if you're inclined toward curd! Just don't think about the calories.

                1. I peel, core, slice, and poach in sugar syrup with sweet spices and am always happy. Also saw a recipe where the poaching syrup was cooked down into caramel:


                  1. Lucky me, I found a quince tree and stocked up a few weeks ago. I made a lovely jelly with bits of fruit from Jane Grigson's Fruit book. The recipe isn't very exact, but here's what I did:

                    Roughly cut 4 quinces, including all seeds and skins, etc., and put them in a pot. Take about 4 really good quinces, peel and core them. Add the cores and peels to the pot. Fill the pot with water just to cover the chopped quinces, and lay slices of the good quinces on top. Boil. When the nice pieces of quince are completely tender, gently take them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Boil the rest of the pot ingredients down to rubble, till the pieces are falling apart. Use a potato masher to help along if you want.

                    Strain the juice. Measure it out, and for every 600ml juice, add 500g sugar. Put the nice quince pieces back into the pot with the juice and sugar, and boil till set. Divide the fruit among sterilized jars, cover with jelly and seal.

                    I also added a little cinnamon (stick) and a few cloves with the sugar. Turned out really well.

                    1. I actually just saute them as a side dish for meat and roast chicken. The fragrance they release is divine! Just half, core, slice thinly and saute in olive oil untill you see them browning nicely. I also add a pinch if sugar and sometimes a pinch of cinnamon. Lucky you!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: galka

                        I do that, too. Great with lamb and couscous.

                        I also make quince chutney with ginger and raisins.

                      2. Oh, I love quinces! I've been collecting quince recipes for a while. I really like this Epicurious recipe for quince-apple-pear crostata. I make it with equal parts of each fruit, but you could double up on the quince, or even use all quinces (though the mixture is really nice).


                        This quince pound cake recipe looks good, too, though I haven't tried it yet. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                        And I heartily endorse the quince liqueur idea. A few years back, I made quince-infused vodka with a vanilla bean and a bit of cinnamon (1/3 stick per quart?). I stuck the jars in a dark, cool cupboard, and managed to lose one of them. I just discovered it - it's still lovely three years later!

                        Enjoy your quinces,

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: AnneInMpls

                          I love quince, too. I have tried the quince pound cake recipe on Epicurious. It was delish, again don't think about the calories! Last year I canned/bottled some of my quinces with the intention of using them in the pound cake recipe and saving myself the poaching step when I did so. Haven't done it yet, but quince ideas are whirling in my head as I just picked about 30 lbs of quince from my neighbour's tree - she doesn't use them!

                          Does anyone have an easy way to get through the prep? I've heard of cleaning and freezing or roasting or microwaving them before starting to chop them. Has anyone else tried any of these prep methods and what was your experience? Last year I tried simmering them first, which was effective, but time consuming.

                          In the wee hours this morning I thought maybe I'd just cut chunks off around the core and use that fruit to make membrillo and preserves. Then chop the cores and attached fruit to make jelly. Thoughts?

                          1. re: czyha

                            Well I am just experimenting. However, I have taken a bunch of the fruits, stood them on end on a large cookie sheet, baked them at 350 for about 30-40 minutes until softened. Then I took one of those large apple corers that slices and cores at the same time and took out the seed core, which I put in a pot with some left over sweet wine and boiled to get a thickening agent for jam.

                            As I write I have taken some of the slices and put them in a quince crisp, with the peeling left on. I am going to see whether you really have to peel the damned things. Even if you do, the softened slices are easier than the whole hard fruit to peel.

                            1. re: RuthP.

                              Report on my experiment:
                              Okay, the peel on is sort of country cooking--a bit grainy. Fine cooking would require the peel off.

                              I am too busy with too many quinces to worry about the peel and will leave it on.

                              1. re: RuthP.

                                Thanks, baking them first really helps and is soooo easy to do. I only baked for 20 to 30 minutes, but perhaps my quince were smaller. Once the quince were cool, I peeled them and then sliced around the core. The nice large chunks will be poached and bottled/canned. The smaller bits were made into membrillo, drying as I type. The skins and cores I boiled up for jelly, which turned out great. I didn't slice too close to the core because last year I ended up with grainy membrillo, not a nice mouth-feel.

                                A friend and I just picked another 100 pounds of quince from the tree! I've taken a week's vacation to do this now. Ruth, do you have a recipe for your quince crisp?

                                Cheers, Carolyn

                        2. This thread delights me-- I think I just finally located a local source for quince. I love quince applesauce and poached quinces with a little greek yogurt on the side. Now I'm dying to do a lamb and quince stew with a Moroccan flavor to it. Does anyone have any recipes along those lines?

                          I think quince and shallots would be really nice alongside of a pork roast, too. Maybe deglaze the pan with some wine, sherry vinegar??

                          1 Reply
                          1. Apple butter with quince is so good! A couple years ago, a friend and I made it and canned it. On a whim she suggested putting some quince in and it turned out to be a favorite. I never use the same recipe twice for apple butter so I don't have any good recommendations.

                            1. This year I tried Quince Marmalade, this is my new favourite quince recipe.

                              Quince Marmalade
                              It is said that the first marmalade was made from quince. In the Tudor period in the British Isles, quince marmalade was regarded as an aphrodisiac.
                              * 3 1/2 pounds quince
                              * 5 cups water
                              * 5 lemons cut in half
                              * 6 cups sugar

                              Wipe fur from skin of quinces with damp cloth. Quarter and core, reserving all cores, seeds etc. Place reserved cores and seeds in a cloth, tied at the top with string.
                              Dice quinces with a knife or food processor. Put into a jam pan with water.
                              Thinly slice lemons, as for marmalade, and add to pan. Simmer until fruit is quite tender, about 45 - 60 minutes. Watch carefully so fruit does not boil over.
                              Warm sugar by placing in a steel bowl in a 250° F oven for 5 minutes. (Or microwave in nonmetallic bowl for 1 minute.) Stir in warmed sugar into jam pan with fruit.
                              Boil rapidly until setting point is reached. Quince should be a rich pink color. Test a small amount of marmalade on a saucer chilled in refrigerator. If a skin forms on top quickly and it runs off saucer in a lumpy formation, it is ready to set.
                              Pour into sterilized jars, and lid. Process in boiling water bath.

                              Yield: approximately 8 - 8 oz jars.

                              The first time I made it, I put the bag of cores, etc, in the pan and squeezed it out at the end. The marmalade was very firm. Next batch I just cooked up the fruit and got a softer set that I prefer. I think the flesh has quite a bit of pectin, too. Anyway the stuff is delish!