Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baked Quince

At Whole Foods yesterday, I came across some odd-looking fruits in the produce section. This quince was the only one I could afford. LOL. I wasn't sure how to eat it....I thought you could eat it like an apple. Apparently not. I looked it up, and I found out that raw quince is hard and tart...and that quince jelly used to be common in the U.S. until canning went out of fashion. Quince can also be baked like pears or apples, used in compotes, cobblers, and pies, or made into a kind of fruit leather.

The quince intrigues me. It looks like a lemon, smells like a pineapple, and tastes like a pear. The word "quince" sounds so medieval and antiquated to an obsolete word. It makes me feel like I'm eating something from the middle ages, maybe along with some Cornish pasties and mutton. I can't wait to buy more, so I can make another of the recipes I found. Apparently when you cook quince for several hours (5), the flesh turns from white to bright, blood red.

I came across a few quince recipes, and I combined a couple of them.

Baked Quince

1 quince, cut in half and cored
1 TB butter
1 TB honey
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cloves
cinnamon (to taste)
3 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the quince flesh side up in a deep baking pan. Place butter on the quince, drizzle with 1/2 TB of honey, save the rest. Sprinkle quince with sugar, cloves, and cinnamon according to your liking. Fill pan with water and heat uncovered for 1 hour. Remove from oven, drizzle quince with remaining honey. Serve by itself or with vanilla ice cream. :)

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