Let’s just throw ourselves right into Autumn, shall we?
Quince are arguably my most favourite Autumn treat. Along with figs, they’re the deal sweetener, bargaining tools in accepting that extra layer of woollen warmth required during these sometimes biting April days.
I had a recipe for poached quince on my blog from a few years ago, but I decided to revisit it. My tastes and appreciation of flavours has changed, and this recipe reflects that.
My pages of Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion at her recipe for poached quince are ruby sugar syrup splattered, and this pleases me to no end. It shows a much loved recipe. Indeed it is. Though why I keep referring to year after year at the beginnign of quince season escapes me, it is such a simple process, one that requires only a brief assembly before leaving the lovelies to poach in the oven for a generous six or so hours. Your house will be perfumed with the most dreamy quince fragrance, it is entirely intoxicating.
Today, for Wednesday Breakfast Club, I served a few wedges of my poached quince with Farmers Union Greek Yoghurt, local raw honey and toasted almonds and brazil nuts. Just a few wedges, I want them to last. Hmmm, maybe I need to raid my mum’s tree with more greedy frequency…
Oven Poached Quince
A note on sugar syrup: I find regular sugar syrup far too intensely sweet. Hence, the ratio of sugar:water I use is far less than most recipes you’ll come across (though I find it to be perfectly satisfactory).
6 Quince (~1.4kg, weighed unpeeled)
1.5 cups Sugar
7 cups Water
1-2 Star Anise (depending on your anise affection)
1 Vanilla Bean, cut in half and split open
1 Cinnamon Quill
5 Green Cardamom Pods
Optional: one eager piece of citrus peel (orange, lemon, lime)
1. Preheat your oven to 150 Degrees Celsius.
2. Peel and cut your quince into quarters or sixths. Cut out the cores, then place in a large baking dish with the star anise, vanilla bean, cinnamon and cardamom.
3. Make your sugar syrup by gently heating the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Pour the sugar syrup over the quince, then cover with a lid or tightly with foil.
4. Place in the oven and gently poach for 4-8 hours – I find 7 hours to be my magic number. The longer your poach them, the more dreamy, ruby red and sweeter, more spiced they will become.
5. Store in the fridge in the sugar syrup. Add to porridge or bowls of yoghurt, or serve alongside ice-cream or on a cheese platter. They’re also lovely diced and added to this apple cake. Keep the syrup once all your quince are gone, reduce it down over heat and drizzle over vanilla ice-cream.
Store the poached quince in the fridge, covered in the sugar syrup. They will keep like this in an airtight container for about a week. A stronger sugar syrup will help to preserve them a bit longer.