Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Pot Roasted Quinces

Recently I was lucky enough to have been given another of my favourite fruits - quinces. They were a bit green and so have been quietly ripening in a bowl on the kitchen bench. 

Quinces must surely be the king of fruits. Grown since ancient times they are versatile and, while too dry and astringent to eat fresh, can be used in a wide range of both savoury and sweet dishes.

Today I made gorgeous deep red pot roasted quinces based on Maggie Beer's recipe - found in her wonderful book 'Maggie's Table'. The first batch were so gloriously beautiful that I was inspired to make a second batch!

The recipe is simplicity itself - however the quinces do need to simmer away on the cook-top for 5 to 6 hours to develop their beautiful colour - so don't plan on going out!.

The method I use to make the quinces is to place 5 cups of water in a large heavy based saucepan. Add 5 cups of sugar and bring to the boil. Stir to ensure that all the sugar has dissolved before gently lowering 6 evenly sized quinces into the pot. Bring the pot to the boil again cooking the quinces for 30 minutes. Lower the heat and let the pot simmer gently until the quinces are a beautiful deep red in colour and the cooking liquid has reduced to a thick jelly. Turn the quinces gently in the liquid every 30 minutes to ensure even colouring of the fruit. In the last hour of cooking add the juice of 2 or 3 freshly squeezed lemons. That's it! Enjoy!

The quinces - pictured below - will be stunning served with thick cream and icecream at our Easter family lunch. 

Tomorrow I'm thinking I'll make Quince Jelly with the remainder of the quinces!

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