Quince is one of my most favorite fruits, even though it’s not the kind of fruit you can just grab and eat as it. A fairly lengthy cooking is required in order to turn this tough and astringent fruit into a delicacy. However, the result is always worth it, as while cooking, the fruit produces a wonderful aroma, changes its tough texture to soft and its color into pinkish-red.
In the recipe here I’ve decided to cook it in spiced red wine, which deepened the red color even more, and added some other layers of spiced aroma.
Kept in the syrup, in an airtight container in the fridge, the cooked segments can keep for up to two months. They can be served on their own (or with a vanilla ice cream scoop on the side), as a side or a topping for cakes, or with sharp cheeses. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this wonderful fruit in any way you’ll choose to serve it.
* With the exception of the cinnamon sticks, don’t be tempted to leave the spices in the syrup, as otherwise their aroma will become too dominant and disguise the subtle aroma of the quince itself.
* For more recipes with quince, check under THIS LINK.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
3 large quince
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
5-6 cardamom pods, slightly cracked
5-6 whole cloves
½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 cup red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
1 cup water
2 Tbs honey (preferably orange blossom)
1. Cut the quince into quarters and then cut each quarter into 2-3 fairly thick segments. With a small sharp knife, carefully remove the seeds and the hard core around them. (Do not peel, so that the slices will keep their shape while cooking). Place in a medium size deep pot.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover the pot. Place on medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes, tilting the pot occasionally, to prevent sticking to the bottom.
3. Uncover the pot, lower the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, tilting the pot occasionally, or until the quince softens but still keeps its shape, and the color changes to orange-red (the color will deepen with time).
4. Carefully transfer the quince to a container and strain the hot syrup on top. (I like to keep the cinnamon sticks and star anise for garnish). Let cool to room temperature before serving.