We spent the most joyful day on the Christian calendar celebrating at a packed church service in the morning, followed by a relaxed Easter Sunday lunch with family and friends. It seemed to me that this was the perfect opportunity to cook quince, one of my favourite autumn fruits. I love the way that after a few hours in the oven they go from being this odd looking, indigestible yellow fruit to a fantastically rusty red, delicious treat.
This recipe is an adaptation of Nigella Lawson's Autumnal Spiced Plums, which appeared in Delicious a few years ago. With a minor variation replacing maple syrup with strong black tea, the poaching liquid is perfect for quinces. And even though there was considerably more than needed for lunch, we've already finished them!Spiced Quinces
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup strong black tea
1 cinnamon quill, broken in two
2 star anise
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 160ºC.
Peel quinces, cut into sixths or eighths, and core the pieces.* Place the pieces in a single layer in a large baking dish.
Put all remaining ingredients in a saucepan with approx. 350ml water and bring to the boil. Pour syrup over quince and cover dish tightly with foil. Bake in the oven for 3-4 hours until quince is lovely and soft and tender.
Serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature. I like to serve mine with a dollop of cinnamon and honey yoghurt.
*Be very careful here, as quinces are really hard when they're raw, especially around the core. They're also slippery before they're peeled because the skin is kind of greasy, so peeling before cutting can sometimes be a wise idea. It can also help to wash them before peeling and chopping.