It’s great to discover new foods. Quince may have been around for centuries but this year gave me my first opportunity to cook with them.
At my lovely place of work, The Chefs Pantry in Cheltenham, we operated a hugely successful exchange programme in the autumn. Customers were encouraged to bring us their excess fruit and veg from gardens and allotments. They were given a voucher in exchange to spend in The Pantry.
It’s interesting that one of the most popular exchange items were quince and so we have been cooking lots of lovely things with them. It’s getting a little late in the season but they can still be found and have a great shelf life. Quince is a unique fruit that looks similar to a pear but is much harder in texture. It is used worldwide in a number of regional dishes.
My contribution for a weekend at home was quince crumble served with creme fraiche.
So here is the recipe
For the quince:
- 4 large quince or equivalent
- Pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- Star anise
- Cinnamon stick
- Bay leaf
For the crumble:
- 300g plain flour
- 200g cold butter
- 150g soft brown sugar
- A handful of oats (I used muesli!)
- Peel and core the quince
- Slice into about 6 sections
- Place the slices into a medium saucepan and cover with pomegranate juice
- Add the sugar and spices
- Bring to the boil and simmer until they turn a stunning shade of orange. (Probably about 45 mins.)
- Meanwhile rub the diced butter with the flour with your hands until you have something resembling course breadcrumbs
- Add the sugar and oats
- When the quince are cooked, place them in a pudding dish. Add some of the cooking liquor. The rest of the juice can be strained and used just as juice!
- Sprinkle the crumble mixture over and press down ever so lightly.
- Bake at 190c for about 20 mins until the mixture is lightly browned and firm.
Devour with a dollop of creme fraiche, double cream or perhaps some salted caramel ice cream.