2 cups caster sugar
250ml lemon juice
Peel of one lemon
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
2 cardamom pods
Preheat oven to 150C (130C fan-forced).
Peel, core and quarter the quinces. Tie the peelings and cores together in a piece of muslin.
Place the remaining ingredients together in a large oven-proof pot over a low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Increase heat to medium-high, bring to the boil and cook for two minutes.
Submerge the quince pieces and the muslin bag in the spiced syrup, adding extra water if required to cover the fruit.
Place a dampened piece of baking paper (called a “cartouche”) directly over the top of the quinces. This helps slow down the evaporation of moisture.
Cover with a lid and place the pot in a pre-heated oven for four hours or until quinces have turned a deep ruby colour. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Serve quinces on top of porridge with Greek yoghurt and pistachios, or add them to a frangipane tart for something special.
Three ways with quinces:
- A delicious addition to a lamb tagine is adding cubes of fresh quince at the same time you add the lamb. It adds sweetness and texture to the final dish.
- For a simple quince paste, peel and core four quinces, cover with water in a large saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 45 minutes until very tender. Drain well, weigh cooked quince to determine the equal amount of sugar. Place quince in food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pan with sugar over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook for 90 minutes or until mixture has become a deep ruby colour. Pour into a lined 20cm x 30cm pan with a smooth surface then cook in the oven at 50C for several hours or overnight to set.
- Quince paste makes a stunning glaze for meats, especially a baked Christmas ham. Place 125g chopped quince paste in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup each of lemon juice and water over a low heat, stirring until paste dissolves. Brush or pour glaze over meat towards the end of cooking.
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