Quince Slices You’ll Love
Quince is definitely not the easiest fruit to work with but if you’re willing to put some effort into it, it’s worth the eating reward. I’m finding I like this darn hard fruit more and more. I keep getting grocery bags full of seasonal fruit from various friends and just got one with the largest quince I’ve ever seen. I went the dessert route and made quince slices in cinnamon syrup. You could easily make this into a savory item for adding to many dishes.
Membrillo, or quince paste, is a thick, very cooked down version of jam and nice with Manchego cheese. Quince sauce is a satisfying substitute for applesauce and easy to make in a slow cooker. Quince jam is fairly common, as with Quince (often combined with apples) pie or crostada. These are just a few of many things you can do. It’s pretty versatile.
Referring to my latest book purchase, Canning For A New Generation recommended by Marisa at Food In Jars, I decided on Quince Slices in Cinnamon Syrup. The hardest part is always peeling and cutting them up. They were pretty easy to peel with a Kuhn Rikon peeler (type of Y-peeler). I’ve also dropped them in boiling water for a minute which made peeling a breeze. Coring and cutting is the harder part.
The finished product resulted in soft, succulent slices with a hint of cinnamon- they are not cloyingly sweet. I had a wow moment. (They turned out a zillion times better than my picture above.) Some ended up on a small scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with extra syrup. They’d be great on pancakes or waffles, or on a slice of pound cake. I made a second batch with less sugar and will probably use some in a savory application like adding slices to a braised meat dish. They’d be nice added to holiday sweet potato dishes as well.
Here’s the adjusted recipe from Canning For A New Generation by Liana Krissoff. I modified the second batch using just 1 cup of sugar. I also cut them into ¼-inch thick slices versus ½-inch so they would cook quicker.
Quince Slices in Cinnamon Syrup
Makes 3 to 4 pint jars.
3 pounds quince
2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
Peel, quarter and core quince. Cut them into ¼-inch thick slices. Cook them in simmering water to cover until tender. Depending on the variety and how ripe the quince are, it can take from 10 to 45 minutes. (Mine took 15 to 20 minutes.) I’d suggest testing by inserting a fork or knife in a slice. If it goes in easily, they are done. When tender, drain.
While the quince cook, combine 4 cups water, sugar and the cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes for a milder cinnamon flavor, 10 plus for a stronger flavor. Set aside.
When the quince are cooked, drain and place in the cinnamon syrup. At this point, I put some in a canning jar with a cinnamon stick and syrup to cover and put it them in the refrigerator. I prepared a water bath and canned the rest, processing for 15 minutes (just as you would process a jam).