Monday 26 October 2020

They Dined On Quince

Unlike the owl and the pussycat, I don't possess a runcible spoon, but when Liz mentioned that someone in her village had put out a help-yourself-box full of quinces, I thought I ought to at least try this unusual fruit. I collected about a third of the box contents [thank you, generous householder, whoever you are] They weighed in at 1.5kg. 
I considered making quince jam [the Portuguese word for quince is marmelo - from which we get marmalade]  and also membrillo -the quince fruit paste which the Spanish serve with manchego cheese. In the end, Liz and I decided a simple fruit compote would be most versatile. I checked out the internet and found this recipe.
Nigel Slater says get a good knife- cutting and peeling is difficult- and you need to cut out the woody core, and manky
brown bits. 
Peeling was laborious - look at that one that looks like a"builder's bum" - some fruits looked fine outside, but were bad inside. In the end I got just under 3 jars of fruit. 
And I reduced the syrup, as Nigel suggests - this jewel coloured liquid can be swirled into yogurt, drizzled over pancakes, or stirred into sparkling water. 
Things to note 
  • the flesh is white [as you are preparing, drop it into acidulated water or it will discolour] but it cooks to a an apricot/pink shade, and the syrup reduces to this lovely pink.
  • it has a beautiful fragrance [and yes, I could smell it as the pieces bubbled away in the poaching syrup]
  • the compote will keep up to a week in the fridge- or can be frozen. So Liz had a jar, I have a jar- and the remainder is in the freezer.
If something is like a quince, is it quince-ish, or quincy?
Here's a trivial fact - in the TV series, we never did discover Quincy's first name -although in Episode #33, we saw a business card showing his first initial was 'R'. At least Colin Dexter finally revealed that Morse's moniker was Endeavour!


  1. Oh I remember Quincy! Much more lighthearted than Silent Witness, with which Prince Charming is obsessed! I absolutely love the colour of your quince.

    1. SW is very intense. Are you sure PC isn't just watching for Emilia Fox? "Quince Compote" could indeed be a Farrow&Ball paint shade...

  2. I have Japonica apples which can be used in the same way, though I leave it to a friend to collect them.

  3. It was so lovely to visit your home last week. Thank you for your (socially distanced, but very warm, hospitality)

  4. I was given some quinces and made quince jelly which got around the problem of peeling and coring the fruit. It is such a fabulous colour and tastes wonderful too.

    1. Bob has suggested I try some quince jelly

  5. Quince compote sounds wonderful and what a pretty color, too!

  6. It is interesting to try new things, I would have loved to taste your quince jam :)


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