Quince is an amazing fruit. When raw it has a hard, tannic flesh, and is often furry to touch, therefore rendering it unpalatable. A little patience in the kitchen though, provides a memorable eating experience, golden, perfumed and voluptuous! The added flavours of cinnamon, bay and honey make this dish memorable!
100ml apple juice
squeeze of lemon juice
fine zest of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons good quality honey
4 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla pod, split
Creme fraiche to serve
Preheat the oven to 150 C. Whilst the oven is warming, wipe the quinces clean and remove any of the furry layer with a dry cloth. Quarter them lengthways, leave the pips and core intact and place in a baking tray cut side up.
Pour the apple juice over the quince and give a good squeeze of lemon juice also. Scatter over the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and lemon zest. Add the vanilla pod. Finally, drizzle the honey over the quince.
Take a sheet of foil and cover the baking tray, but not too tightly. Now place in the oven and bake for a minimum of 2 hours, ideally for 2 1/2. Turn the quince after an hour of cooking.
The quince are ready when beautifully sticky and soft, with an amazing burnt orange colour. Remove the cinnamon, bay and vanilla pod. Allow to cool, serving either just warm or at room temperature with a little creme fraiche.
Absolutely delicious, I assure you!