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Nov 7, 2006 11:18 AM

Quince ideas!

A colleague of mine just handed me a bunch of quinces that she didn't want. They smell gorgeous. I have seen recipes for jelly, but does anyone have any other ideas about uses for them? Thanks!

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  1. Don't they just! That wonderful spicy smell--I love it too. So, the deal with quinces is that they need long, slow cooking with a bit of sugar before you do anything with them, because they are rock-hard and extremely astringent when raw. I like to halve and core them (they will be really, really hard, so you can also core after cooking), then cover them halfway with water, about 1/3 cup sugar, and a cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves and/or allspice berries. Bring to a boil on top of the stove, cover, and put in the oven at around 300 degrees for at least an hour or so. They should get very soft and turn pinkish. Let cool in syrup and refrigerate.

    Now, you have lovely poached quinces! You can chop/puree and mix with homemade applesauce (this makes a great accompaniment to pork); serve the poached halves with greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey; use poached halves or slices as an accompaniment to fresh gingerbread; alternate slices with thinly sliced sweet potato and bake as a gratin; use as a topping or blend into mashed sweet potato or butternut squash; chop finely and use as a topping for squash soup, etc. Please report back on what you do!

    1. There is a terrific recipe in Deborah Madison's new book, Local Flavors, for a goat cheese and quince tart. It has a short crust made with toasted nuts, is filled with goat cheese beaten with a little egg to hold it together, then topped with sliced poached quinces (like the ones described by dixie). The combo of nutty, tangy and sweet is a knockout. Perfect for an after dinner cheese course.

      1. Poached quinces in a little sugar syrup with some spices--try a cinnamon stick, some allspice seeds, and a wide strip of either orange or tangerine peel. Peel them and cut into wedges about 1" wide, put in pan, cover with water and say 1 c water for 6-8 quinces. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook til tender, about 1/2 hour, stirring gently several times and checking doneness frequently.

        1. The December Bon Appetit has an article on quince with a bunch of recipes.

          1. I've made quince muffins-- just find a basic recipe for muffin batter and add chopped quince. My husband loves these- a nice variation on apple. And, though you say no jelly, I just posted a thread in Home Cooking on cardamom-spiced apple-quince butter which is really good (if I do say so myself) and easier than a jelly. The quince-goat cheese tart sounds great. Another nice and easy appetizer is chunks of quince cooked down with port, then placed on pan-fried polenta rounds topped with blue cheese.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Procrastibaker

              Google for a recipe for *ate de membrillo*. *Ate* (AH-tay) is a fruit paste, not as thin and hard as a fruit leather but rich and delicious. [i]Ate de membrillo[/i] ([i]membrillo[/i] is quince) is traditionally served here in Mexico with [i]queso manchego[/i] as an after-dinner treat. As other posters have pointed out, quince takes long, slow cooking, but it's really simple. You'll love the [i]ate[/i].