Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Quince
Quince is a delicious winter fruit belonging to the same family as apples and pears with a lumpy yellow skin and hard flesh. Although it’s quite bitter and shouldn’t be eaten raw, once fully ripe and cooked, it is deliciously sweet with the hard skin becoming soft and gooey. It can be baked, roasted, stewed, sautéed, poached… the options are endless and all as delicious as the next. It also works excellent with savoury as well as sweet and makes a great accompaniment to autumnal dishes either roasted or pureed as a sauce.
Quince are in season in the UK from around mid-October but it’s unlikely to find them in supermarkets due to the lack of demand in recent years. Seek them out at your local farmers market though and show them the love the deserve (cooking quince can take quite some time, we recommend cooking them for a least 40 minutes) and you’ll soon be pondering why this delicious fruit isn’t more popular.
- To get quince at it’s most flavoursome, it needs to be cooked for quite a while. We recommend a minimum of 40 minutes, but you could leave it to stew in a slow cooker or large pan over a low heat all day should you have the time!
- Quince is the perfect partner for a winter crumble. Try quince on it’s own, or a mixture of quince and apple for a delicious, easy dessert.
- Stewed quince also makes for a delicious breakfast staple - try it on top of porridge or pancakes, or simply with a little coconut yoghurt.
- Poached or roasted halved quince is also an effect post-dinner dessert when entertaining guests
- Quince is also ideal for pureeing and making into a jam. Why not try a twist on the traditional Victoria sponge cake using a thick spread of quince jam instead of raspberry.
- Quince isn’t only limited to sweet either, it’s a great accompaniment to savoury dishes too. Try roasting quince alongside your usual roasted root vegetables and serve with braised lamb for a deliciously seasonal meal.
- It can also be pureed and served as a sauce alongside your meal - it’s particularly well paired with roast pork or game.