The amazing Quince fruit
Nicknamed “the most amazing fruit that you’ve never eaten”, the once relatively unknown quince is gaining popularity rapidly in Australia. This bright golden-yellow beauty is low in calories and packed with dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Quince seeds steeped in boiling water make a jelly like drink, which, in the Middle East, is traditionally used to sooth sore throats.
You can eat a raw quince picked straight from the tree (if very determined)! However I believe the magical flavour (and that magnificent deep pink tinge) is really enhanced with some heat.
It’s high pectin content (a naturally-occurring thickening agent mainly found in the skin), makes it ideal to turn into jam, jelly and paste, which in some countries, is even used as hair-styling gel!!
Autumn is quince season, so get out there and start making the most of this amazing fruit.
Here’s a delicious quince paste recipe from my book, From Paddock to Plate.
1 kg quinces (approximately 12)
1 kg sugar
Slowly oven-cook the quinces until soft and pink or boil enough quinces to produce 1 kilogram of flesh. Purée the flesh including some of the pips and cores. Add the purée to a heavy-based large pan and add sugar (an equal amount of sugar to purée). Cook and stir constantly until the purée thickens and turns a dark red colour, approximately 11⁄2 hours. Beware of spitting, lava hot quince paste and tired arms! When a spoon is drawn through the paste it should leave a distinctive trail on the bottom of the pan. Spoon or pour paste into greaseproof-lined trays or plastic tubs. Dry this in a warm place for a couple of days until it becomes more solid. Cut, wrap and pack into airtight containers.
Make sure you try the Coral lettuce salad with melon and quince balls shared by Chef Orielo on the Love My Salad website. Here’s a tip… use your homemade quince paste to make the quince balls.
Fresh, local, seasonal.
Join Louise on a journey through the seasons with salad ingredients, old traditions and popular, exotic or unusual vegetables. From Paddock to Plate founder, author, food writer, radio journalist & yoga teacher.