Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Poached Quince


As promised, (Quince - the versatile fruit), here are those quirky-looking quinces poached.  Delicious served with a ginger or other spiced cake, or simply with yogurt of crème fraiche, or added to winter fruit compotes. In my previous post I mentioned how Northern Europe grown quince could be disappointing as the climate is not perfect for them.  The ones I used this time were UK grown and the flavour was certainly inferior to the Southern European ones I have bought in the past. 

This easy recipe is inspired by one from Alice Waters of Chez Panisse café and restaurant in Berkeley, California. 

Poached Quince (Adapted from: Chez Panisse Fruit, Alice Waters)

400g (14oz) caster sugar
1.2 litres (2 pints) water
1 kilo (2lbs) quinces (4-6)
½-1 vanilla bean

2 slices of lemon
Combine the sugar and water in a large pan, bring to the boil, and simmer slowly until the sugar is disolved.  Quarter, peel and core the quinces and slice the quarters into inch thick wedges.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar syrup.  Add the bean pod, the two lemon slices and the quince wedges to the syrup. 

To keep the fruit submerged in the syrup while it cooks, cover the surface of the poaching fruit with a round of parchment paper and weigh it down with a saucer.  Simmer slowly until the quinces are tender (45 -60 minutes).  Will keep, submerged in juice, in the fridge for 2-3 days or ladle fruit and syrup into clean jars, cool, cover and keep refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.  If you want to keep the poached quince for longer, prepare kilner jars and lids  following the manufacturer's instructions.  Ladle the fruit and syrup into the prepared jars and seal following the manufacturers instructions.