The bright yellow quince is one of our favourite autumn fruits – not only because their perfume will scent a room for weeks but also because of the incredible transformation they undergo during cooking. Virtually rock hard and inedible when ripe, they develop a deep ruby-red colour with an intense, glorious flavour as a result of poaching.
- 1 litre (4 cups) water
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 2 cloves
- 4 quinces
- cream or vanilla ice-cream, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Prepare poaching liquid by placing water, sugar, vanilla, lemon and cloves in a large heavy-based saucepan.
Bring liquid to a rolling boil. Peel, quarter and core the fruit, adding quinces immediately to poaching liquid to prevent discolouration.
Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 1½ hours, or until the quinces are tender and ruby red.
Serve quinces with a little of the warm syrup along with cream or vanilla ice-cream.