a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Saturday, 17 December 2011


I've just put the last of the quinces in the oven to bake and I'm wishing I'd had more! They weren't home-grown but I was lucky enough to pick some up through Freegle (freecycling) earlier in Autumn. This was my first experience of them but I'd heard people say how wonderful they are.
They're certainly odd to look at - something like a deformed apple - and at first were very hard. I wasn't sure what to do with them - there was a carrier bag full so I wanted to try them in various ways.
Someone pointed me to an article with various quince recipes in the Telegraph and the first thing I tried was Slow roast pork belly - nice but a little strange with unexpected taste combinations.

I then tried an adaptation of an old recipe from Country Living - originally for honeyed quince pandowdy, stewed fruit with a sort of scone/dumpling topping, I altered it to have a low-fat scone type topping. This was certainly a better way to let the unusually exotic taste of the quinces shine out - so we've had this several times! My daughter had complained about the smell from 'that strange fruit', as it sat ripening in a bowl but I thought it was delicious - strangely mango-like rather than the apple/pear taste I'd expected.

I have, of course, made some quince tablet or paste - basically a super-stiff jam set in a small cake tin - to either try with cheese or add to pork dishes long after the fresh quinces have gone.
I'm certainly going to be looking out for more on offer next year, but meanwhile I've sown some pips in the hope of having my very own quince tree.