Autumn Recipes – Quinces

So I don’t actually have any quince trees that fruit in my garden – yet – but I will I think in a year or three (I planted two trees in 2016), and I don’t go a quince season without cooking them (we live in a good climate for them). Who can resist a fruit that turns this colour on cooking:

Poached Quinces

Heat 4-8** cups of water with 1.5 cups of caster sugar and any flavouring you desire, on the stove. Stir while sugar dissolves and continue to heat for another 4 minutes before adding quinces.

Peel, core and cut 4 quinces into wedges. You might want a bowl of water with lemon juice handy to drop them in as you go as they discolour very quickly.

Carefully slide into sugar syrup on stove, and cover with baking paper, and a weight of some kind. This is an important step! It keeps the quinces submerged, otherwise the exposed side dries up and looks and feels pretty unappealing.

Gently poach for 3-4 hours (yes! If you want the colour, you’ve got to be patient).

**This recipe is from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion. She suggests 3 cups of water. I think you might want a little more, particularly if you like to have quite a bit of poaching juice for each serve. Also add more sugar if you want to keep the ratio of sugar and water the same (the ratio of 4 cups water to 1.5 cups sugar was very sweet  and thick after 3 hours’ gentle cooking but not enough to cover the quinces).