Delicious and simple recipe for poached quince with spices. Perfect for eating as a dessert or as part of your breakfast.

poached quince

Poached quince with spices

Quince is one of those fruits that belong to the old fashioned varieties. It’s also a fruit that is not so easy to find here in the Netherlands. I know a lot of people have trees and when the season is there, they are overfilled with quince. More than anyone could ever want to eat or can possibly process. So that is usually a good way to find some; just asking around who has a tree.

I actually found these when I was in Germany with Meeta. They were everywhere at the market there, so I brought some home. Having never cooked with quince before I had to find out what to do with them.

First of all peeling them was quite difficult as the fruit is insanely hard. It’s one of those fruits that you cannot eat as it is. You have to cook it or such as in this case; poach the quince.

Poached quince with spices


If you’ve never seen a quince before; I included a photo of an unprepared specimen as well. They are fragrant and related to the rose family. They also are closely related to apples and pears. Which makes sense if you look at them. I chose to prepare them in roughly the same way I would with normal poached pears. I placed them in a large pot of water with sugar, cinnamon, star anis, orange and lemon zest. They do need a bit longer than regular pears but the end result is totally worth it!

Quince – foto: Fotolia

I like to actually leave them to stand for a bit longer while cooling down so the spices soak into the quince. So after having poached the quince I turn of the heat and let it cool with all the spices still in the water. You don’t have to do that but I like the spice flavor to be a bit stronger. Also the whole house starts to smell like Christmas. Which is always a good thing.

Quince with spices
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5 from 1 vote

Quince with spices

Delicious quince recipe with lots of spices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 4 pieces quince
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pcs cinnamon stick
  • 4 pcs orange peel strips
  • 4 pcs large strips lemon peel
  • 6 pcs green cardamom pods crushed
  • 3 pcs 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.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: European
Keyword: quince
Diet: Gluten free, vegan

Nutrition Information

Calories: 397kcal, Carbohydrates: 102g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 13mg, Potassium: 36mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 100g, Vitamin A: 8IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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