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Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Mighty Quince

This is one of two posts that are long over due as the wonderful desserts I made were enjoyed by myself, Hubbs, my sister and even my mail lady - a few weeks ago.

This is the first of two GIANT THANK YOU's!! from all of us =)

Part I - The Quince

Starting with some gorgeous quince that have an amazing aroma - oh dear lordie did my house smell WONDERFUL that week. =) My dear friend, Elle, of Feeding My Enthusiasms has a shrub on her property that produces this heavenly smelling fruit and she wrote a post about the quince jelly she made. I had an obvious question after reading the post - how does a yellowish fruit produce such a gorgeous dark pink jelly? Well - not only did she try to answer my question, but she offered to send me some so I could experience this fruit myself!

Pineapple Quince Apple Pie
A normal pie for me.. mishapen, rips in the crust, smooshied edges - just picture perfect doncha think? Gah.

You may think I'm making this next part up - but I swear it's the truth.. I almost gave my mail lady a black eye when she delivered the sweet smelling box to my door. This woman wouldn't let go of the box! She said her truck smelled so good and she didn't want the source to be taken away. HAR! I thought she was kidding but when I reached for it - she took a step back! I thought there was going to be a rumble.. she was NOT going to keep that box - no fakkin' way. Finally, after I promised to make sure to leave her some of whatever I decided to make with it. I had to actually bribe the woman to LET GO! Sheesh.

Well I immediately unpacked them and set them on my kitchen table and then I had to rush back to work. Hubbs got home about an hour before me and a phone call was immediately made to tell me that the house smelled like a fruit orchard and what the hell were those odd shaped yellow things on the table? hehehe So for the next 5 or 6 days they stayed in a bowl on the table fragrancing my wee lil house until I finally found a couple recipes that I wanted to try.

9-22-07 (17)

The first was an apple and quince pie - I figured it was fitting since it's Autumn here in the Armpit of the Midwest. Course it's still 80ยบ outside, but my calendar tells me it's Fall. Okay well, 4 quince and 4 apples were peeled, cored and sliced up for the pie - which, really is your basic apple pie, just sub some quince for some apples. Of course my house smelled even better as it was baking and I could barely wait until after dinner to try it. You can definitely taste the difference between the apples and the quince and there is also a very different texture. The apples bake down a little more than the quince but both fruits end up very tender. With a scoop of Dulce de Leche icecream, this pie was fantastic. We both enjoyed it very much - so much so that no one at work got any. My mail lady got a huge slab and my sister got a tiny sliver that was left by the time she came for a visit 2 days later. heee!

Quince Apple Pie

I had about 5 quince left over and the next recipe I decided to try was called Quince Dumplings with Syrup. While the apple/quince pie was baking, I peeled, cored and sliced the rest of the quince and added them to a pot of simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar) and let them poach for 3 hours on medium-high heat. Where the quince in the apple pie didn't change color by much, they sure did in this syrup.

Pineapple Quince Syrup - First Hour
Quince the first hour.

Quince Syrup - 2.5 Hrs In
Quince after the 2nd hour.

Quince Syrup - Final 3rd Hr.
Quince after the final third hour - gorgeous!

After 3 hours I had a gorgeous dark ruby red syrup that was sweet with a floral hit in the background. I could have poured it over ice with a smidge of vodka at that point. *hic* But I behaved myself and allowed it to cool. Unfortunately, I had run out of steam that night so I packed up the fruit and syrup separately and put them in the fridge for another night that week. Well.. as time seems to get sucked away from me lately, I never did get the dumplings made - Hubbs and I picked at the fruit unti it was gone and I froze the syrup. I have about 2 cups of it so I think that I will follow Elle's lead and boil it down until I've got jelly. Won't be much, but at least I'll have my first taste of quince jelly. =)

Elle, I can't thank you enough for being so kind to send me the fruit - it was such a great experience cooking with them and an even better experience eating them!! It was a wonderful gift from a wonderful friend.. thank you. =)

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Comments on "The Mighty Quince"


Blogger african vanielje said ... (10/06/2007 4:00 PM) : 

So under rated and so utterly magical. It feels like a well kept secret, doesn't it? This quince thing, but I have yet to meet anyone who has cooked them that hasn't been converted. I think there is something addictive in the smell.


Blogger Susan from Food Blogga said ... (10/06/2007 5:23 PM) : 

Thanks for the recipe featuring quince, Lis! I've had them raw in the past and have never been smitten with them. But your fabulous pie on the other hand could lead to serious love. ;)


Blogger KJ said ... (10/06/2007 6:27 PM) : 

I'm a quince convert. I've just made some quince jelly, which turned out brilliantly. I'm so delighted.

It's great to see more quince recipes. Your pie looks fab. So delicious.

Remember, rustic is our friend.


Blogger Valentina said ... (10/06/2007 7:11 PM) : 

Liz, I am a very big fan of quinces. Every year I try new recipes. I haven't yet started on quinces this year. I do love the idea of this pie so I might give it a try. There are lovely apples around at this time as well so your pie is just the ideal seasonal combination.


Blogger Peabody said ... (10/06/2007 7:50 PM) : 

Wasn't that so nice of Elle to give us the quince. And that smell... I need to find someone who makes a candle in that is soo wonderful.
I thought about making a quince and apple cobbler(great minds think a like) :P
You made some stunning looking goodies.


Blogger Chris said ... (10/06/2007 9:59 PM) : 

I have never had quince. In fact, its a completely new thing for me! I am going to have to look for them when I go to the Farmer's Market next time. Everything here looks tremendously delicious!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10/06/2007 11:34 PM) : 

I've only had quince in jam, and it sure was good. That pie looks like a welcoming autumn day. Can't wait to start baking pie!


Blogger Ilva said ... (10/07/2007 2:34 AM) : 

Quince is so nice and so are your photos Lisa!


Blogger Katie Zeller said ... (10/07/2007 12:08 PM) : 

We had a quince tree growing next to our house in Andorra. At the end of the lane we could see the fruit, and see the top of the tree, but they were just out of reach... It was growing below us and the tree top was even with our lane - and no way to get to them!


Blogger Gattina Cheung said ... (10/07/2007 9:03 PM) : 

holy!!! is it a magic, looking at that gorgeous pink color!
If Elle is going to send you more quince, let me know, I'll be the sub of that mail lady!


Blogger KayKat said ... (10/08/2007 1:03 AM) : 

*wow*! I've been drooling over this for over a minute now :)

I've never tried cooking with quince, now you've gotten me committed to trying it!


Blogger Brittany said ... (10/08/2007 4:12 AM) : 

The pie looks f'ing perfect! I want a bite! I don't trust pies that are all neat and tidy.....just don't seem right to me. My grandma's pies were always a heinous mess, but damn if they weren't the best ever. Besides, thats what big old scoops of melty ice cream are for.


Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (10/08/2007 5:41 PM) : 

What a lucky mail person you have! Well, lucky you! I've not had a fresh one but the jelly is wonderful and I've not had homemade. The pie sounds divine.
Great to have blogging friends.


Blogger Helene said ... (10/09/2007 1:00 AM) : 

Gorgeous! I am glad you finally got the chance to try them. Just their sent brings me home to my mother's kitchen.


Blogger Steph F. said ... (10/09/2007 2:18 AM) : 

You inspired me to make a quince and apple pie! After reading this I managed to convince my roommate to substitute quince for some of the apples in the pie we were going to make. It didn't taste or feel much different (probably because we sliced the quince and the apples very, very thin) but it was a lovely pie nonetheless.

Thanks for your inspiration!


Blogger Belinda said ... (10/09/2007 10:34 AM) : 

Now I'm feeling truly out of the loop, because I've never eaten a quince! One look at that pie is enough for me to be convinced that they are spectacular little fruits though, Lisa...and isn't that so cool how they change to that pretty pink shade as they are cooking? :-) And how hilarious that the intoxicating fragrance turned your mail lady into a raving, crazy quince stalker!


Blogger Anita said ... (10/09/2007 7:07 PM) : 

I can't wait until I can get my hands on some quince! Your pie looks so scrumptious, I think I can smell it through my computer!


Blogger kellypea said ... (10/10/2007 4:59 PM) : 

I love quince. They're just different -like me =) It's so funny that not very many people even know what they are. I guess it would help if the grocery store had them more often, huh? We go out to the "country" once in a while and I get my jar of quince jelly. YUM. But I've never cooked them myself. I love your photos (skuze me with the Martha style fall leaves in your fotos, Lis...) and the crispy-looking crust, and goodness, but that's a beeyouteeful pie, lady.


Blogger Elle said ... (10/10/2007 8:48 PM) : 

So glad that you and your family (and the quince stalker mail lady) enjoyed the quinces. That fragrance really is a winner. Maybe I should start selling those knobby yellow things. We could have a quince revival! I love that your pie is not 'perfect', especially that pool of juice that has crept out onto the top of the crust...want to dip my finger in it and lick the juices...mmmmm.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1/10/2009 12:19 PM) : 

Thanks for the apple-quince post. I have one quince and a whole bunch of apples and am looking for ideas to inspire my creativity. Thank you.

The Soapbox


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