Quince and almond crumble tart

Red letter day! First quinces of the season appeared in Melbourne shops this week – and so the opportunity to fill my kitchen with that delicious perfume is back – and to post on my blog. The quinces were a little bit green and so haven’t developed a super deep red colour but I think they’re pretty good.

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And so what to make on this auspicious occasion! I found this recipe over summer in a newspaper cutting from a friend, probably from The Age’s Epicure but date unknown. Doesn’t it sound fabulous.

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Quince and almond crumble tart
If time permits the fruit will benefit greatly from being allowed to cool overnight in its cooking liquid. Also the pastry is made without sweetening, due to the richness of both the almond filling and crumble top.

500g quince
450 ml water
125 g castor sugar
1 orange, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
10 coriander seeds
Bring water, sugar, juices and seed to the boil in a medium saucepan, then quarter, peel, core and slice the quinces, adding immediately to the liquid. Simmer for one hour or until they take on a deep red colour, cool overnight in the poaching liquid.

Shortcrust pastry
120g butter, diced and slightly soft
250g plain flour
pinch of salt
50 ml of water, approx
Rub butter into sifted flour and salt when lightly combined begin to add water, but only enough to bring the pastry together. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.
Almond filling
75g almonds
40g butter
40 g castor sugar
1 egg yolk
Grind almonds in food processor then remove and process butter, sugar and egg yolk until smooth, add ground almonds and combine well.

Crumble top
100g wholemeal flour
60g brown sugar
50 g butter, diced
½ tsp ground cinnamon
50 g almonds, chopped
Mix flour and sugar until combined, rub in butter, add cinnamon and stir in. Almonds will be added later.

Heat the oven to 180C, roll out pastry and line a greased, 20 cm deep sided flan tin. Prick pastry all over, [bake for 10 minutes? (a bit of the recipe is missing here I think)] then line with foil, continue baking for five minutes more.
Remove foil, gently spread almond filling in pastry case, cover whole tin with foil and return to oven for 20 minutes more.
Strain quince slices well and remove the coriander seeds, fill hot flan with the fruit, cover with crumble mix and press down lightly, top with the chopped almonds.
Reduce oven to 160C and continue baking for a further 45 minutes. Cover top with foil if browning too quickly, serve warm.




Quinces and Christmas


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Oh you lucky people who have fresh quinces available at Christmas time! Here in Australia we are out of stock until next autumn.

But if I lived where there were quinces, I would be encouraging quinces on the Christmas table as the beautiful red colour of cooked quinces goes so well with a Christmas theme.

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Some ideas I thought of:

For a table decoration, quince jelly on a white saucer surrounding a fat dripless candle beautifully reflecting all the glorious hues. Use the jelly later.

Quinces as part of your table’s flower decorations with cherries and greenery – if you set the table and close your room overnight, you get the great perfume of quinces.

For eating, quince jelly used as the final glaze on a cooked ham for a bright sparkly look and delicious flavour.

Glace quince pieces in your bishop’s fruit cake.

Quince chutney to go with cold turkey and ham.

Poached quince pieces in the Christmas trifle.

Use quince syrup in your Christmas fruit salad – best ever!

Let me know if you come up with some other ideas. I would also like to know if people use quinces in Jewish cooking for Hanukkah.

Quince soup and quinces with chicken


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Two recipes from Slovakia

My new friend at Vermont Quince @VermontQuince

recently asked for translations for quince recipes from this site:

Here are the Google Translate versions. Enjoy these more unusual uses.

Sweet potato and quince soup

When I read the recipe for the composition of this soup, I was a little surprised by the amount of raw material strong flavor, and I assumed taste of mine in this mixture completely extinguished. Finally, this soup I still tried and I was pleasantly surprised. The soup I smell or sweet potatoes, celery or strong, but really particular quinces.

1 onion
2 large quinces (about 400 g)
700 g sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
80 ml apple juice (or cider)
1.5 liters vegetable stock
3 grains allspice
1 bay leaf
100 ml whipping cream
+ Parsley
+ 2 slices of bread, perfect dark

Peel the onion and chop finely. Wash the quinces, get rid of hair, cut in quarters, cut out the cores. One quarter put aside, chop the rest. Celery and sweet potatoes, peel and cut into small cubes.
In a saucepan, heat the tablespoon of butter and saute onions in it. Pour apple juice or cider and broth. Add the chopped quince and vegetables, bay leaf, allspice and orange peel. Bring to a boil, then download and gas cook slowly for about 25 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, in the remaining butter fry bread chopped into small cubes with quince, chopped to the same size. Toasted bread with quince move into a bowl and let cool. Mix with chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
From soups select allspice, bay leaf and orange peel and Blend. Soften cream and seasoning as necessary. Serve sprinkled Dulovo-bread-parsley mixture.

Chicken on quinces

[the picture on the site looks great!]

1 chicken or 5 chicken thighs
300 g shallots
400 g parsley
1 lemon
2-3 quinces
fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons honey
0.5 liters of apple cider
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200 ° C. Wash chicken, dry it thoroughly and season with salt and pepper on all sides. Save to baking dish, top with thyme and place in oven for 20 minutes prebaking.
Meanwhile, peel the shallots and parsley, the longitudinal be cut. Washed lemon cut into wheels, quinces cut into eighths, cut out the core boxes. Everything comes to chickens in a roasting pan, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with honey and pour cider.

Chicken occasionally pour gravy browning and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve with baguette, fresh bread or with boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes.

Choosing and using the best quinces


Not all quinces are equal! There are several varieties around the world and some aren’t so good for cooking purposes.

In Australia we mainly have the smaller Smyrna (C. oblonga maliformis), with its heady aroma, or the larger pineapple quince (C. oblonga lusitanica), so called for its tropical scent. The pineapple quince has softer flesh not suitable for pot-roasting and does not develop the characteristic deep red colour when slowly cooked.

My hints:
Never try to preserve quinces until they begin to turn yellow. Quinces are at their best when golden yellow and fragrant. When your kitchen takes on that unmistakeable beautiful smell of quinces…

Select large, unbruised fruit. If they have a smooth and regular shape, it makes them easier to peel.

Use a sharp chef’s knife as the flesh is difficult to cut.

If you are cooking a lot of quinces, have ready cold acidulated water (water with lemon juice added) to put your cut pieces in so that they don’t discolour or go brown.

Rub off the fuzz with a coarse towel. Washing it off is slower than this method.

You can use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.

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To peel and core before or after? Every recipe I have says to ‘peel, core and quarter’ or slice before doing anything with the quinces. I have experimented with no peeling and no coring, just quartering which is fine if you are planning to eat poached quinces at home. It is certainly easier to remove the cores when the fruit is soft but it is much fiddlier to remove the skin when the fruit is in many pieces. I just eat the skin anyway! Some suggest using a melon baller to remove the core if you’re using quince halves.

Storing: Mmm, quinces tend not to last too long at my place but generally I just keep them in the fruit bowl, out of the sun for several weeks if need be. I’ve read of people wrapping them in plastic and storing in the fridge which is perhaps good if you fear codlin moth in your fruit. Other friends have suggested treating them just like apples as they are a relative.

Poached quinces with orange and cardamom


Well, Kate pointed out that quince and orange are a good match so here is a recipe that I’ve found that you might like to try if you can find any quinces in Australia at present – it’s the end of our season.

4 quinces
4 lemon slices (¼ inch thick)
4 orange slices (¼ inch thick)
6 green cardamom pods (gently crushed)

Read the recipe here http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Quince-Poached-in-Cardamom-Syrup-354965#ixzz2hmcteFOT

This is not your standard ‘cook for 3 hours until ruby red’ but a shorter time to give you a light pink hue. Let me know what you think!

The Golden Quince


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All things quince!

I love quinces. I was brought up on a farm which had several quince trees – and this one survives to this day.

Windermere Farm

The old tree, more than 50 years old. The sacrilege is the quinces lying on the ground not being used…

I have been collecting quince recipes for years here in Australia and have a group of friends who are quince lovers too. So this blog is to share information, answer queries and get more people to love eating quinces.

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Three ripe quinces ready for me to use!

There are four standard ways of cooking quinces:

making them into jam or other preserves such as chutney
making them into jelly

Rather than posting more recipes for these methods here which are easily available on the net, I am interested in what flavourings people use when they cook quinces. I myself include vanilla bean and lemon rind but I’m sure there are heaps of variations!