Roast Quinces


Roast quinces

You can cut a quince in half and bake it like an apple, but I prefer to 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 to me, but I wouldn't mind trying it with some slices of grilled gammon – a contemporary take on the 60s gammon and pineapple idea. Serves 4.

4 heaped tbsp sugar
500ml water
4 cloves
2 star anise
4 smallish quinces
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/gas mark 5. 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.

Courtesy of Nigel Slater