Pumpkins are seasonal but don’t forget the quince …
Hallowe’en is round the corner and pumpkins and pumpkin recipes are all around us. But look at the large pear next to the pumpkin in the photo. That’s my favourite fruit, the quince and it is indeed like a large, dense pear with the same grainy texture and and a similar delicate aroma. They are a treat for all the senses and you can get right in touch with yourself just looking at them if you haven’t time to experiment with cooking.
Last night for dinner we had quince roasted with chicken for supper but if you roast them alone, cut in quarters they can serve as pudding. The quince swings both ways which makes them especially useful to have around and they are also just beautiful sitting on the window ledge.
If you haven’t dealt with a quince before the only thing you need to know is that they need baking before they are edible. Don’t bother to core them or peel them, just pop them in a baking dish with a spot of white wine and either honey or pomegranate molasses or brown sugar, with or without chicken breasts on the bone and roast for an hour or more until they are tender. An exotic change from baked apples which I also adore.
You can make membrillo or quince cheese on a rainy afternoon and see the mixture magically turn red at a certain point. Very good recipes are available freely but I recommend Diana Henry for all things Mediterranean with a dash of the Middle East. This summer I planted two quince trees in my garden. I’ll let you know whether they come up with the goods but meanwhile Natoora supply them via Ocado. Happy October.