Quinces are in season and the perfume of the beautiful golden fruit is delightfully fragrant from the fruit basket.
They need long poaching to make them tender and the longer they cook the more they turn to a lovely ruby red. I have decided that the easiest way to achieve this is to cook my quinces in the slow cooker in a sweet spiced syrup of cinnamon and cloves. After setting on LOW and letting them cook for 12 hours overnight, the perfume fills the house and morning greets us with delicious warm stewed quinces to enjoy with a some yoghurt. The spiced syrup becomes thick and luscious.
Peeling quinces exposes the flesh to the air and they brown quickly. Therefore it is most important to peel and core the quinces methodically and quickly, plunging each prepared piece into the syrup as you continue.
The longer they are poached the deeper red they become so you can choose to stop the cooking whenever the quinces are tender and to your liking. I think the deep colour is attractive and the slow cooker is the best way to stew them.
Use ratio of 1/3 sugar to each 300 ml of water to make the syrup. Make as much syrup as will be needed for the quantity of quinces you have to be fully covered.
Here I have just poached one large quince. As the base of the slow cooker is broad, I used 600 ml of water and an extra 1/3 cup of sugar so that the quince pieces would be fully submerged.
One large quince will make 2 serves depending on the size of the quince used.
Just a little preparation, a slow cooker and time gives us the best of this wonderful autumn fruit. In addition, the poached quinces and the spiced syrup can be used in cakes and pastries and other desserts.
Slow Poached Spiced Quinces
- I large quince
- 600ml water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 cloves
- Rub the quinces free of the fuzz as you wash them under running water
- Measure 300 ml of the amount of water and heat in a heavy based saucepan with all the sugar
- Bring to the boil stirring and simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved
- Set the saucepan in cold water in the sink until fully cooled
- Meanwhile place cold 300 ml of water in the slow cooker and set on HIGH to heat
- Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves to the slow cooker
- When the syrup is cold add to the water in the slow cooker
- Continue by preparing the quinces. This must be done methodically and quickly to prevent the quinces from oxidising and browning
- Cut the quince in half and set one portion cut side down on a saucer
- Then cut the remaining piece in half and taking each at a time, quickly cut away the hard core and peel the piece
- Cut this first prepared quarter into thick slices
- Plunge the slices into the syrup and stir to coat the pieces in syrup as you prepare them
- Continue in the same way with the rest of the quince till all the pieces are in the syrup
13. Take a piece of baking paper the size of the surface of the slow cooker, dampen with water, squeeze it then place it over the the quince slices so that they are covered completely and press down gently
14.Place the lid on the cooker and set to LOW
15. Cook for 12 hours until the slices have turned a ruby red
16. Enjoy hot or cold over ice cream, yoghurt, a dollop of double cream or with rice pudding, spooning over the thickened syrup