Friday, June 10, 2011
Baked spiced quinces & vanilla ice cream
I'm a bit obsessed with quinces at the moment. They are old-fashioned and they taste it too. A denser yet slightly tarter pear-like fruit, but I also find myself thinking that comparing it to a pear is unfair. They definitely have their own personality, and its slow, very slow. These fruits need to be cooked for hours and hours, maybe why they have fallen out of favour in our hyperpaced world.
In the temperatures that Sydney has been enjoying recently (think it went down to 8 degrees or so last night, quite cold for us, and only 14 during the day) I'm more than happy to stay at home and let the oven heat up the house. Especially when that oven is full of gorgeous spices that then permeate every room. This recipe really lends itself to a day like today, and I'm happy in the thought that I'll have so many quinces to eat in the next few days. Each spice really pops in your mouth, the quinces carry so much flavour.
This recipe is courtesy of my friend Alice Nettleton, and she is even more infatuated with quinces than I am. So much so, she has named her catering company after them, Quince catering. Thanks Alice for this stunning recipe.
3 large quinces (around 500g each)
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise fruits
1 Tbs honey
1 vanilla pod, cut in half
5 cardamon pods
1 tsp olive oil
1 pinch sea salt
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 cup white wine
Pre-heat the oven to 150 celsius.
Core and peel the quinces, then cut into halves or quarters.
Place the quinces into a large baking tray lined with baking paper, and then drizzle the lemon juice over the fruits to stop discolouration.
Scatter over the spices, then pour the wine, honey and olive oil. Finish the dish with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Cut a piece of baking paper to cover the baking tray, then scrunch it up and wet it under the tap. Then flatten out and place over the quinces, then cover the whole tray with aluminium foil.
Bake for 3 hours, checking the fruits every hour or so. Add extra water to the pan if the fruits are becoming too dry.
Serve on their own with ice cream or creme fraiche, or as a breakfast accompaniment with porridge or pancakes.