A beautiful and versatile dish that can be served as a dessert with yogurt, an entrée with prosciutto, or as an accompaniment to roast lamb or pork.
Quince. This perfectly imperfect member of the rose family and relative of apples and pears has a floral, honey-like perfume that will delightfully scent your home as it ripens. The true beauty of the quince is revealed as it cooks, when, like magic, its flesh turns from snow white to deep rose pink.
Serves 6 to 8
4 cups water
3 cups superfine sugar
a generous handful of fresh thyme stems
thick piece of fresh lemon peel
3 large quinces
- Preheat oven to 250F.
- Place water and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Pour into a large baking pan, then stir in thyme and lemon peel.
- Peel quince and cut into quarters, leaving the core in, and placing quince pieces into the syrup as you go.
- Cover pan with a cartouche (see note). Then cover tightly with foil and bake for 7 hours.
- Turn oven off and leave to cool completely overnight in oven.
- Serve quince in the cooking syrup with plain Greek yogurt alongside sweet or savory dishes.
- Poached quince keeps refrigerated for about 2 to 3 weeks.
A cartouche ensures that the fruit stays covered in the syrup while cooking. To make a cartouche: Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of the baking pan or saucepan. Crumple the paper, then wet it under cold water. Place it over the quince and cooking syrup.
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