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Gloriously scented golden quince

Gloriously scented golden quince

As Comedian Frankie Howard would say “Oooh Errr! I’ve come over all quince!” which is hardly surprising considering October is the season for them. Until recently, I’d never seen quince let alone cooked it so I’ve spent all week experimenting with different flavour combinations and have come up with two tasty casseroles and a quince cheese for you to try. 

weighed-fresh-quinceAt first glance, quince look a cross between a misshapen pear and papaya and have cheery, sunshine yellow skins which guarantee to liven up the dullest of fruit bowls. Better yet, they have an outstanding  floral perfume, somewhere between apples, pears and pineapple which intensifies as the days go by and filled my kitchen with a heavenly scent.

uma-quince-2However, prepping quince is an altogether different matter. Tough, dense flesh with off centre cores mean they’re tricky to slice (a cleaver comes in handy here) plus, they’re  impossible to eat raw.

Yet surprisingly, within minutes of boiling, their hard flesh turns soft, pulpy even. Like pears the texture is slightly grainy which you either love or hate. Equally surprising is the taste. I was expecting something sweet, but quinces are tangy, sour even and quite lemony.

lamb-quince-stew2Anyway, armed with my booty of fruit I set about adding quince to a couple of stews – one Moroccan, the other Middle Eastern, plus testing them out in the more usual stuff – quince jelly and cheese (or ‘Membrillo’ as it’s known in Spain).

My conclusion is, taste and texture wise, quinces don’t bring much to the party on the savoury front. Both these stews taste equally delicious with or without them, so go ahead and make them anyway. Having said that, quinces are still worth seeking out especially if you enjoy making preserves. And if preserves aren’t your thing, they’re still worth having, if only for their cheery colour and fantastic scent.

membrillo-21For cheese lovers, a wedge of sweet Membrillo and chunk of salty cheese is nothing short of a taste sensation. And the fabulous aroma it produces during cooking – think Turkish delight – is divine beyond belief, making everywhere smell sweetly warm and homely.

If only I could bottle quince as a room spray!

7 Responses to “Quince”

  1. Janna says:

    This is just what I’m looking for. Keep up the good work!

  2. Susie Gee says:

    Yum! Yet another tasty looking recipe. Thanks Uma

  3. tracee says:

    As usual your pictures look very appetising. Only problem is quince are a swine to cut – but its a good idea of yours using a cleaver!

  4. Suzanne says:

    LOL! I make jam every autumn but haven’t done anything savoury with quince so will defintiely give it a go. Thanks Uma

  5. Eva says:

    RATS!!! I was offered a bag of quince a couple of weeks ago but didn’t accept as I had no idea what to do with it. Filing your recipes for next time round.

  6. Beckie says:

    Great blog!! I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned 🙂

  7. Gillian Bourne says:

    My friend Julia recommeded your site and I love receiving your posts. I don’t think I’ve spied any quince in the shops/markets, but now I’ve read through your stew recipes, I’ll be looking out for some.

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