Finally, the quinces season has opened and the local market is bursting of them. Every day I am pleasantly surprised by the delights of autumn — seasonal fruits, herbs, all kinds of cheese and fresh veggies perfect for pickling.

But let’s return to our wonderful quinces. Unfortunately, these fruits are not very friendly — they’re hard, with a woody taste and needs time to become edible, but once you give them one or two glasses of wine this fruits will invade your home with their sweetness.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 – 6 medium quinces
  • 2 cups white or rose wine
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 6 – 7 cloves
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 stick cinnamon 
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup honey

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 150°C.  Wash the quinces with cold water then peel and quarter them.

Step 2:  Rub the quinces with the cut lemon to slow the browning and place cut side down in a large baking tray.

Step 3: In a medium sauce pan heat the wine, cloves, sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise over medium-high heat.  Bring to the boil and simmer until sugar has dissolved.  Mix in the honey and add the lemon juice.

Step 4:  Pour over the quince quarters, cover with foil and bake for 3 to 4 hours or until the quinces are the desired tenderness and colour (3 – 4 hours for medium ruby colour, 5 – 6 hours for deep Burgundy, for a very deep colour, turn oven off after 7 hours and leave to cool completely overnight in oven). Serve warm or cold with ice cream, use on tarts or for breakfast with yogurt and roasted walnuts.

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