Saturday, May 01, 2010

Slow Poached Quince

Janet from Tastespace is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'm celebrating the changing seasons with Quince

quince© by Haalo

The saying "everything old is new again" could well apply to Quince. It's a fruit that has been long part of our history, mentions of it go back to 600BC but in the last few years it seems to have been rediscovered and now that it is Quince season, it's popping up everywhere.

I've included quite a few quince recipes on this site - I've stewed them, poached them and even oven roasted them but this time I've decided to do them in a slow cooker.

Quinces love long, slow cooking and it's that process that rewards you with that incredible colour shift and while this can be accomplished in the oven, the slow cooker makes it even easier.

In this recipe, you'll notice that I've not added any other flavourings to it - I have in the past added things like cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, cloves, lemon etc but I really don't think that is necessary.

For fruits like apples, pears and even apricots, which don't have a strongly defined flavour, adding something like vanilla or cinnamon gives it substance. In the case of Quince, it is such uniquely flavoured fruit, it deserves to stand on its own.

slow poached quince© by Haalo

Slow Poached Quince

1 kilo quince
5 cups water
3 cups sugar

Prepare the quince:

Quinces oxidise very quickly once they have been peeled so it's important to have a large bowl of water into which the juice of one lemon has been added - this is known as acidulated water. It's also best to work on one quince at a time.

Cut the quince into quarters, remove the core and then peel. Pop the prepared quince into the acidulated water. Repeat the process until all the quince has been prepared.

Make the sugar syrup:

Place the water and sugar into a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour this hot syrup into the slow cooker.

Drain the quinces and add them to the syrup. Cover with the lid and cook for 4 hours on high. Turn the heat to low and continue cooking for another 6 hours.

slow poached quince© by Haalo

If you are a bit more organised, I don't see a problem in starting this the night before (and cooking it on Low for the full 10 hours) so you can awake to that wonderful aroma of poached quinces. Regardless of what happens, you would have at least started the day on a very high note.


  1. Gorgeous photos as per usual. I'd be interested to know if the photo of the quince at the top of your post was one of the ones you cooked? I've been looking at the ones I got from the Farmer's Market last week, thinking they are a bit green to poach, and they are the same colour as that one on your post.

    I'm pretty sure Quince's don't get any riper once they've been picked, but I would probably try a quince Jelly rather than poaching them if the are too green.

  2. I love the red colour of the quince. They are quite an unusual ingredient and I've had limited exposure to them. My Dad used to make an apple and quince jelly which was great on white toast.

  3. Hi Suzanne - It's the same quince, actually they are from the Quince guy at Slow Food Farmers' market and are probably the same ones you have. They are easily the best quinces I've bought.

    Thanks Mark - haven't made a jelly yet, should try it though.

  4. Oddly, I have never yet had fresh quince, though I have often eaten quince paste. I am sure they must grow in West in the U.S., but somehow, I've never seen them in a store.

    Now I shall look!

  5. Thanks! Probably the same ones then. I'll poach the little lovelies overnight tomorrow. Love Quince!

  6. Hope you can find some Tanita!

    Hard not to love them Suzanne!


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