Poached quince with spices
I was with Meeta at the market in Germany when I spotted some quince. I had seen them somewhere before (on the internet!) but they are not a fruit you can easily find here in Holland, so I took them with me from Weimar to Holland. They keep forever anyway, so there was not a lot of risk that the would be bruised and nasty having been bumped around in my suitcase a bit. I had no idea what quince tasted like, so I decided to keep it simple. I got myself 5 pcs, but I didn’t expect so much to come out of those fruits! 5 is really a lot!
I was quite happy that the people at knivesandtools.nl had previously contacted me if I wanted to test some of their new Eden Quality pans. The selling point is that the pans are good quality for an affordable price, which is not really common these days. We used to have really old and crappy pans when we were not that much into cooking, but these days we do actually spend quite a bit of money on good pans, griddles and the like. Simple for the reason that it does make a difference! So what am I looking for in a pan? It needs to be sturdy and not fall apart after having cooked in it twice, it needs to have a thick bottom (now how wrong does that sound..lol) and distribute the heat evenly. A big plus is also if the handle stays cool to the touch and that the pan is still manageable even when filled with a load of quince (to just give an example)
So when I received the big package I was happily surprised when I took out three pretty pans. Hey, pans can be pretty too you know! They had a good feel to them, nice design and more importantly; once I started cooking with them I was even happier. I’ve sofar made these quince, baked pancakes and a stir fry in them and made a Mexican soup. What I find important in a pan is that I can fry onions in them without the risk of everything sticking to the bottom of the pan because it gets to hot (which happens when you have a thin bottom) That works great. Also a plus in my book is that the handle stays cool, even after having been on the stove for more then an hour. With the cooking pan (without the long handle) I was surprised that the two side handles, even while much closer to the fire, are also not extremely hot. I would still use some towel to handle them but if I forgot I wouldn’t burn my hands.
So all in all, really pleased with these pans and as I mentioned the price is good too. They are a pretty international company so I will give you the various websites below and you can have a look for yourself. But now back to my lovely quince recipe.
When cleaning these weird looking variation between an apple and a pear (are they??) I could not help but notice that they are soooo hard! I’ve never had any fruit that was incredibly difficult to clean. I almost needed to two hands to press the knife through the fruit, believe it or not. I put it all in a pot with cardamom, cinnamon, lemon and orange peel and star anis and in a matter of minutes the house started to smell like Christmas. isn’t it funny how smells can do that to you? The recipe I adapted said that they needed 45 minutes but mine where soft enough after a little more then thirty minutes so be sure to check when you’re cooking them. Overcooked can’t be good either.
- 4 pieces quince
- 4-6 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 large strips orange peel
- 4 large strips lemon peel
- 6 green cardamom pods crushed
- 3 star anise
Peel, quarter and core the quince. Be careful as they are very difficult to cut so make sure you don't cure yourself. You can keep them in water as they do discolor very quickly but it doesn't help much. Maybe ad some lemon to the water. i didn't try that.
Put 4 cups of water in a pot together with the sugar, lemon and orange peel, staranis, cinnamon and cardamom and bring to the boil until all sugar is dissolved.
Add the quinces and slowly cook for 30-45 minutes or until they are tender when poked with a small knife. Leave to cool in the poaching liquid. Remove the unedible spices and store in the fridge for up to a week.
I more or less combined two different recipes together but basically add whatever spices work for you. I loved the combination I used but you can add cloves in there or other spices too.