Today, we make this:
One fruit, so many possibilities. Quince granita, quince pâté de fruits, quince soup, poached quince, quince jelly, quince sauce, quince fritters…oh wait…
They are one of my favorite fruits. Look how nice and pink they become when you cook them, a soothing glamorous pink.
But they start off this color. Green with a hint of yellow. Hard as a rock. And a strange fuzz on them. It’s the pectin that turns them pink. And lots of heat.
See the fuzz? And the shiny green skin underneath? (I wiped some off for you.)
This is one of the oldest fruits on the planet. Word on the street is that when an apple was mentioned in Greek mythology and the Bible, what they really meant was quince. Yes, Eve bit down on a rock hard quince. So not worth it.
A tree full of quinces is a beautiful thing because it ensures you will have quinces coming out of your ears year round, and that too is a beautiful thing.
Pick every last one of them once they are a yellow color… even the ones with nasty bits are good because you can cook them up into something saucy.
These have nasty bits. They are still worthy.
Then you stick them on your windowsill and admire them. Then you cook them into some glorious version of this.
Have you seen my other quince recipes?
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“Quince 4 Ways”
For the Poaching, Soup & Granité:
- 4 quinces
- 1 liter moscato wine
- 500 ml water
- 400 g sugar
- 15 ml lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1/3 vanilla bean
- 5 sprigs of rosemary
For the Pâté de Fruits:
- 360 g quince poaching liquid from above
- 75 g pectin
- 200 g glucose / corn syrup
- 25 g citric acid or 30 ml lemon juice
For the Poached Quinces:
- Peel the quinces, cut them in half and remove the cores with a melon baller.
- Combine the wine, water, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, star anise, vanilla bean and rosemary sprigs in a sauce pan and place the quince halves in the liquid. Cover the quinces with a parchment lid and bring to a simmer. Let them poach for 1 hour at a simmer or until completely soft. The quinces and poaching liquid will turn pink toward the end of cooking.
For the Quince Soup:
- Reserve 4 of the quince halves and puree them in a blender, adding poaching liquid as need until a desired consistency is achieved. Reserve and let cool.
For the Quince Granité:
- Reserve 360 g. of poaching liquid for the pâtés de fruits and pour the rest into a hotel pan and place in the freezer.
For the Quince Pâtés de Fruits:
- Bring 360 g. of poaching liquid to a boil. Add the lemon juice and corn syrup and simmer. Sprinkle in the pectin while whisking constantly and bring the temperature of the mixture to 227° F. Cook at this temperature for 5 minutes while skimming the top.
- Sprinkle a sheet tray with water and line it with plastic wrap. This will make the jellies easy to remove once they're set. Pour the mixture onto the plastic covered tray and let cool until completely set. Once cool, the jellies can be cut into squares and tossed in sugar.
For the Finish:
- To serve, pour a fourth of the quince soup into the bottom of a bowl. Set a poached quince half on top with the open side facing up. Scrape the granite with a spoon until fluffy and add a spoonful on top of the quince. Garnish with of the pâtés de fruits and a sprig of rosemary.
- The poached quince becomes soft and candied, making it only slightly firmer than the quince soup. The granite is another soft texture, but much colder. And the jelly candy intensifies the quince’s natural pectin, adding a fourth texture and deeper pink color.