Photo by Molly Peterson (http://www.mollympeterson.com/) for FoodShed Magazine
Those who have read my blog for a while know of the fondness I have for quince – that almost forgotten fruit. Most of the cultivars grown in our area (and they aren’t that many, although they do exist) need to be cooked to bring out their surprisingly floral aroma.That’s probably why it has fallen out of favor: you can’t just bite into it. I have read though that there are cultivars tasty enough for that. But the quince we get here, you have to cook. And how well you will be rewarded.
It is lovely mixed with apples. But if you cannot find quince, use a good home-made or store- bought apple sauce, preferably unsweetened. Virginia allspice (also called spicebush) is a native understory shrub (Lindera benzoin) whose berries ripen to vermillion in late summer and early fall and taste very similar to the true tropical allspice, with a more peppery bite. I collect the berries in the fall and freeze them until needed. Omit them or use allspice if you do not have access to them.
Yes, the tart shell takes some planning. But the crust won’t be soggy!
I prefer to mix apples for a variety of texture and taste, and prefer to avoid apples that remain really firm when cooked.
Recipe for the Quince & Apple Tart with Virginia All-Spice on the FoodShed magazine web site
Prior entries on quince:
– a compendium of recipes from other blogs
– a non-exhaustive list of what to do with quince + quince ice-cream recipe
I love love quince and was able to get one bushel this year from one of the local orchards (not counting Japanese quince which several friends let me have from their bushes)! So… once more in the middle of putting food by: roasting & can (or serve with lamb or pork), jamming & canning, tarting & sauceing (and canning), making ice-cream…you cannot go wrong with quince but you have too cook it.
Check out those other blogs for additional recipes – and enjoy your quinces, sweet or savory.
Quince Paste - on Simply Recipes
Quince Jam – also on Simply Recipes
Baked Quince - on AboutFood.com
Poached Quince with Vanilla & Cinnamon – on The Wednesday Chef
Quince Tarte Tatin - from The Serendipitous Chef.
Slow Cooked Whole Quince - On In Praise of Sardines: simple and so special!
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Isn’t that what you are asking yourself?
You are not?
you know, quince is not a very popular fruit nowadays. And really it is a shame, because nothing else has it piquant aromatic floral taste… pineapple, jasmine, guava and sweet vanilla, with a hint of clove. Some even say that it was quince that Eve offered Adam…
On Monday, just before work, I stopped by Jenkins Orchard in Woodville. Inquiries made in the summer revealed that yes, they had some quince. Yes, they should have them in the fall. Yes, they were picking them when ripe. Not too many people ask for them. But “the old timers like to preserve them”. The “old-timers” and the French lady, I guess… Read more