The quince is in close relation to the apple and pear. Yellow in colour, the fruit is shaped in a similar way to the pear and can feature a green tinge particularly when unripe.
Available March through August, Quince can often act as a substitute for recipes which would traditionally feature apple or pear so you can easily experiment with your favourite recipes.
How to prepare a quince:
If you’re unfamiliar with this fruit it can be a little daunting to know how to prepare a quince; however it’s really quite simple. First, [eel off the bitter skin with a regular vegetable peeler before cutting into segments using a sharp, good quality chefs knife as the fruit can be tough. Be sure to remove any seeds and the fruits core when segmenting.
Can you eat quince raw?
Uncooked, quince is tough and acidic. It usually isn’t consumed raw due to it’s intensely bitter flavour and hard flesh. Amazingly, the original state is a far cry from the beauty that is unleashed in the ripening and more significantly, the cooking process. With simple cooking methods, such as baking, poaching or boiling, the quince releases a stunning fragrance of sweet vanilla and citrus.
In our opinion, this underrated fruit, can turn your kitchen into a haven of sweet and warming scents in Autumn and Winter – the most welcoming note for any guests you may have.
What is even more special, is the quince’s ability to release a beautiful syrup, a perfect accompaniment to desserts and a stunning base to the crowd favourite – quince paste. To top it off, quince is a fantastic source of dietary fibre, vitamin C and potassium. A great addition to the Autumn Winter diet that will deliver those nutrients to your system in a delicious way.
Quince are grown in Australia in these regions:
- Queensland – Granite Belt
- New South Wales – Bathurst
- Victoria – Goulburn Valley, Melbourne Metropolitan
- South Australia – Adelaide Hill
When and how to choose quince?
- Seasonal in Autumn and Winter
- Although not always easy to find, you should be able to purchase Quince fruit from a local grocer or farmers market from mid March to August
- Look for fruit with deep yellow colouring, the best indicator of a fruit that isn’t ripe is a green tinge around the base
- A ripe fruit will give off a strong, sweet fragrance
So what can you make with quince? These simple ideas will inspire you to cook an array of quince recipes:
- Quince Jam to spread on toast or a croissant
- Quince paste served with aged cheddar or a rich triple cream brie
- Quince pie or a visually stunning quince tarte tatin
- A sweet quince sorbet or ice-cream
- Simply poached or slow-roasted serve quince segments with greek yoghurt or custard
- Add quince as a sweetening ingredient in indian curries
For many, a great place to start with quince recipes is the most famous recipe of all: Quince Paste. Perfect as a sweet addition to balance out a cheese board, it is a great condiment to have in the fridge for special occasions. You may even want to make extra and package beautifully as a small gift. Your friends will love you for it!
Learn how to make your own Quince paste using your microwave.
A sweet accompaniment to any roast meat is always delicious. Try this Rolled Loin with Quince and Glazed Pears for a delicious take on the Sunday roast.
If you have any other cooking tips or recipes using Quince that you think our community will enjoy please share in the comments.