You can cut a quince in half and bake it like an apple. You can poach them first so that their flesh becomes melting and almost transparent. Maple syrup offers a deep, almost caramel-like autumnal warmth, but you could use honey if you prefer. Cream would be no bad thing here. This is a dessert, but could go very well with some slices of grilled ham.
- 4 heaped tbsp sugar
- 500ml water
- 4 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 4 smallish quinces (or two North American giants)
- ½ a lemon
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Add the cloves and star anise.
- Peel and halve the quinces and rub them with lemon to stop them browning.
- Lower the quinces into the sugar syrup and let them simmer till tender. They may be ready in 25 minutes or perhaps take a little longer, depending on their size and ripeness.
- Set the oven at 180C/350F.
- When they are tender to the point of a knife, lift the quinces out and put them in a shallow baking dish or roasting tin.
- Take150ml of the cooking liquid, add the maple syrup and, together with the aromatics, pour over the quinces.
- Bake for 30 minute or so till very soft and tender.
- Serve with their cooking juices