I love autumn for the hard, craggy, bright yellow fruit which turns into beautiful rose scented, ruby coloured segments with a few hours of tender cooking in the oven. The longer you cook them the darker they become, what a wonder! From my experience, baking them in the oven is the easiest way because they can gently cook undisturbed. I have a tendency to poke anything cooking on the stove
This is based on David Lebovitz’s recipe which of course is simple and delicious. Flavour friends with quince are ginger, lemon, cinnamon quills or vanilla but my suggestion is to not overcomplicate the poaching liquid to let the ruby, rose hues of quince speak for themselves.
- 7 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
- 6-8 medium sized quince
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.
- Mix the water, sugar, honey, and vanilla in a large oven proof dish over a medium to high heat.
- While the poaching liquid is heating, peel the quinces and then cut in half. Remove the tough core with a spoon and place the halves in the poaching liquid as you go to prevent them from browning.
- When all your quinces are dancing in the liquid, make a cartouche with a walnut sized hole in the centre and place this over the quinces. Cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven.
- Cook gently for 2-4 hours, depending on how dark you want your quinces.
I have baked these late in the afternoon and turned off the oven and left them to sit overnight to make delightfully dark quinces. The fruit freezes well too, which allows you to squirrel some away to last you until next autumn.