Monday, March 21, 2011

Poached quinces and other delights.

The nice thing, or one of the many nice things about living at MIL's house deep in the hills, is the close proximity to weekend markets. On Sunday MIL, SP and I took a quick visit to the Uraidla Market, which is about 10 minutes drive down the road into the 'real' countryside. It's a pretty little drive with it's hillsides of bushland, apple orchards, and leek fields.
The Uraidla Market is small, and yet it seemed to have everything we could want. Most of it was in the town hall, with a couple of extra stalls and obligatory sausage sizzle outside. Lots and lots of fresh local produce for sale (even fish!), plus jams, award winning olive oils, marinated olives (YUM!!), plants, Devonshire teas and craft works. Just my kind of thing.

We came home with plenty of fruit and veg and some treats to see us through the week.

Just for fun I bought some beautiful quinces. I have not eaten quince in such a long time, this most underrated of fruits.

I flicked through the cookbooks but no recipe jumped out at me, so off to the Internet where I found a recipe for rosy poached quinces. Quinces cannot be eaten raw, not unless you like that astringent 'mouth full of fluff' feeling; I don't recommend it. I mention this because they do look very much like you could snack on a piece of two as you cut them up, and I do not want you to be tempted!
They are supposed to be hard to peel and core, but I didn't think they were. Perhaps it was just luck? They do, however, oxidize to brown very quickly. I piled them straight in the simmering poaching syrup (is it still called a court bouillon if it's sweet? Probably not.).

And added a hat, as per instructions (watch out for the scalding steam if you lift it).

And then I sat in the rainlight-drenched living room, eating wholemeal toast with blue cheese, typing up this post and knitting (not at the exact time I was typing. I am not that clever) while I waited for it to cook, cinnamon infusing not just the quinces, but the air as well, it smells like autumn. Delicious.

Quinces blush as they cook, and the longer they cook the pinker and darker and richer they become.


They will keep for a week in their poaching liquid in the fridge, and after you have eaten the fruit pieces (I recommend real cream and icecream) you can reduce the syrup into a jam which is wonderful with cheese.


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