A unique, old fashioned fruit, unknown to most and sadly very underused.Quince season begins right now in October. However you probably won’t find them on them on the shelves of your local supermarket but seek them out at your local farmers market, they are definitely worth pursuing. Green or yellow in colour they closely resemble knobbly, Rochas pears. They emit a wonderful aroma of scented apples and vanilla, in fact it is said that the Victorians used them to scent their knicker drawer!
They are a magical fruit, brackish white and astringent when raw, they transform when cooked to become deliciously soft, rose gold in colour and the accompanying liquor is the colour of raspberries. The soft aroma becomes a heady perfume….it is the alchemists dream!
They are versatile and can be paired with almost anything, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, star anise the list goes on. They make great chutneys, jam and compotes (delicious added to a bowl of Greek yoghurt or porridge).
Quince with turmeric, fresh ginger, pistachios and cinnamon make a spectacular lamb tangine to warm you on these cold winter nights. Serve a membrillo (quince paste) with some local cheese or maybe use it to make a truly memorable dessert.
Whatever your chosen dish, sweet or savoury, quince will add a certain je ne sais quois. I sometimes add a few drops to a cold glass of champagne or splash a little into an icy glass of gin. Oh my! Quince, quince glorious quince, try it and fall in love!