Quince are extremely interesting and slightly weird. But they are also amazing and delicious. They have to be cooked to eat. Once cooked the flesh becomes flavorful and turns pink. Give them a whirl if you've never had them before because they are hard to find!
STORAGE: Quince store well at room temperature and are ripe when they are yellow.
QUICK IDEAS: Remember, quince have to be cooked!: use them on angel food cake; bake with honey and water
"Some recipes advise soaking the peeled quince slices in lemon-tinged water to avoid browning. I’ve never done that, but instead, I simply slip them into the warm poaching liquid and any trace of discoloration soon disappears. Of course, this recipe can be halved, or increased."
7 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 lemon , cut in half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large, or 8 medium, quince
1)Mix the water, sugar, honey, lemon and vanilla bean in a large non-reactive pot and turn it on to medium-to-high heat. You can add any additional spices or seasonings, as indicated above, if you wish.
2) While the liquid is heating, quarter, peel, and remove the cores of the quince. Make sure to removed anything tough for fibrous, being very careful with the knife. (The intrepid can wear one of these.)
3) As you peel and prepare the quince quarters, slip each one into the simmering liquid. Once they’re all done, cover the pot with a round of parchment paper with a walnut-sized hole cut in the center and place it on top.
4) Simmer the quince (do not boil) for at least an hour, until the quince are cooked through.
Cooking time will vary, depending on the quince. They’re done when they are cooked through, which you can verify by piercing one with the tip of a sharp paring knife. It’s not unusual for them to take up to 2 hours, or more.
Serve warm, or at room temperature. To store, pour the quince and their liquid into a storage container and refrigerate for up to one week.
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds stew meat
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cups water
1 (6-ounce) tomato paste
2 quinces, do not peel; just slice like an apple (make sure to remove the entire core)
1/4 cup lime or lemon juice or the juice of 3 limes
3/4 cup pitted prunes
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into medium dice
1) In a 6-quart saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to become translucent (about 1 minute).
2) Add the meat; cover and cook until meat no longer looks red, stirring occasionally.
3) Add salt and pepper.
4) Add water, tomato paste, lime juice, quince, prunes, and potatoes.
5) Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally until meat is tender.
6) Serve hot in a casserole dish.
Quince Membrillo: Makes 1/2 Sheet Pan
from Food 52
3 cups sugar
1) Wash quinces and remove any stickers, fuzz or leaves and remove core. Cut into big chunks.
2) Place quince pieces in a large pot and cover with about 6 cups water. Cut lemon in half and juice into pot. Gently simmer until the pieces are very tender, about 1½ hours. Note: if water boils off so that the quince are not submerged, add enough water to cover the quinces and bring back up to a simmer.
3) Drain the quince pieces. Pass through a food mill. If you don't have a food mill, purée in a food processor. You should have about 3 cups of purée.
4) Transfer purée to a large non-stick sauté pan. Add about 3 cups of sugar (depending on the amount of purée you measured) and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for about an hour. If you get impatient, it's OK to turn the heat up to medium, but keep a close watch on it and stir frequently.
5) The mixture will thicken and will be rosy in color. It will start bubbling almost as a complete mass and will be shiny when done.
6) Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the quince paste so that it is about a half-inch thick. Smooth with a spatula and try to form into an even rectangle—it most likely will not cover the whole surface area of the pan. Set aside to cool completely.
7) When cool, transfer parchment paper-filled membrillo to a large cutting board. Fill a large vase or cup with hot water and have a clean towel by your side. Line a glass storage vessel with parchment paper. Cut membrillo into 2 x 4-inch pieces approximately, dipping the knife into the hot water and drying it off as necessary.
8) Fill one layer of the storage vessel with cut membrillo, top with another layer of parchment and continue filling in this manner until all of the membrillo is cut. Store in the refrigerator for months. Bring to room temperature before serving.