The quince is a round or pear-shaped, lumpy fruit with yellow skin, sometimes covered with fuzz, that must be cooked before eating. The quince, one of the earliest-known fruits has been cultivated for thousands of years and still has largely retained the character of a wild fruit.
- Other Names
- Golden apple, marmelo (Portugal).
- The fruit's unique fragrance, hinting of pineapple, guava, and pear, can easily perfume a room. Quinces weigh 250g to 500g, are asymmetrical and bright yellow, and look like short-necked pears. A characteristic feltlike coating wipes off easily, revealing thin waxy skin that emanates a sweet, fresh fragrance when rubbed. The hard, dry flesh of the quince turns light pink to rose red and softer and sweeter once cooked with sugar.
- Quince preserves are the ancestors of both jam and marmalade. Quince is used for baking and preserves because of its subtle flavour and high level of pectin.
- The most common variety is the pineapple quince which resembles a large, smooth, knobbly pear with golden yellow skin, white flesh, and a pineapple aroma.
- The perfumed quince is oval with tapered ends, smooth yellow skin, and white flesh
- The champion quince is a very fuzzy, pear-shaped, delicately flavoured late-season quince.
- The rare Portugal quince is giant, bulbous, and football-shaped with a deep, rich flavour.
- Choose quinces that are large and firm. Although quinces bruise easily, marks on the skin do not affect quality. Once ripe, the fruit will turn from green to yellow but will still be firm. Steer clear of soft, shriveled, or overly bruised fruit.
- Quinces may be stored at room temperature, but will deteriorate after 1 week. Refrigerate quinces for several weeks, wrapped well in paper towels to avoid bruising.
NOTE: Quince must be cooked before eating, either by baking, poaching, roasting, sautéing, or stewing.
Lightly wash the fruit. Smaller perfumed quinces tend to have fuzz on the skin that rubs off when washed.
Peel using a vegetable peeler or knife.
To core, first halve lengthwise, then scoop out the large seed cavity using a melon baller.
Place peeled quince in water with lemon juice until ready to cook.
Poach peeled quince in flavoured simple syrup.
Use quince in jam or marmalade
Add quince to meat stew.
Roast quince with poultry.
Add quince to apple pie to add fragrant, spicy flavour and extra body (because of the pectin).
Sub-Category: Pome Fruit
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