Monday, December 14, 2015

Experimenting with Quince Fruit

Half peeled quince fruit
Preparing a Quince 

Until I moved into my new home here in Georgia, I had never heard of quince.  There is a quince tree in my yard, however, and although neither my real estate agent or I could identify the tree, my neighbor could: Apparently, the tree was planted by her father-in-law more than 60 years ago!

Early this fall, I rescued 2 large quince fruits from the critters; bugs, squirrels, and birds. After a little research online, I learned the fruit was completely edible, and I was able to prepare the two quince fruits like an applesauce. The quince sauce I made was definitely a bit grittier and a lot more sour than applesauce (like a green apple), but with ice cream and crumbles on top, I hear it made an excellent dessert cobbler.

Cutting a Quince

These are not the pretty quince slices I saw online.
First and foremost, know that quince are hard; they are really hard.  Cutting the quince was harder than cutting a winter squash.  I attempted to use a chef's knife, but I resorted to something serrated to saw through the fruit.

In all honesty, I wanted to have beautiful slices like some other online recipes show, but it was all I could do to even get the knife through it. I settled for a good peeling and getting as much of the fruit away from the core as I could.

Preparing a Syrup

While I was hacking away at the quince, I was also creating a syrup over low heat.  I used 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 cups of water seasoned with star anise and a cinnamon stick.

Once I added my two hacked-up fruits to the syrup, I brought it all to a boil, lowered the heat and let it simmer for a few hours.  I checked in on it every so often since I wasn't sure how long it would take.  Some of the slices started getting pink and soft within the first 15 minutes, but others took the two hours.

Finishing and Serving

Star Anise and Cinnamon
After I tasted the quince the first time, it took me about 20 seconds to unstick my face from the "pucker" it caused.  Once I unstuck my face, I added 1/2 cup brown sugar and let it cook for another 15 minutes or so.  The brown sugar brought the power of the sour to a reasonable and refreshing level.

I served the quince cold to my family, but my mother-in-law bumped it up a notch by creating a dessert with the container I delivered to them.  From all family reports, preparing the quince sauce with crumbles and ice cream made it a lovely dessert.

And with that,  ooh la la, I see another quince has fallen from the tree . . . .

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Please contact the author for permission to republish.

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