Yes, it is that time of the year again. Quinces, my favourite fruit are in season. I can’t tell you how much I love them. To rave about them on my blog is already a MoFo tradition. (Does two years in a row count as tradtion?) Yes, they aren’t that beautiful, you can’t eat them raw (they are very hard and sour), they are hard to peel, and they have to cook for a long time. BUT they smell so pleasantly that you can perfume your room with one single quince. And they have a very complex flavour. Read all about them here.
Last Saturday, while I was at work, P. hunted down a couple of quinces.When I came home he was already peeling them. His plan was to make an aromatic quince compote. Since he had bought organic quinces he started by cooking the peels in some water, then he took them out and added the quinces (750 g) and sugar (200 g). He couldn’t tell me the exact amount of water but the quince pieces were all covered in it. He cooked them until soft and took them out of the water/sugar mixture. Then he added some lemon juice and cooked the mixture until it turned into quince syrup:
P. served the cooked quinces with some syrup and passion fruit pulp, which you can’t see in the following picture. This is a very simple but still so delicious dessert. Quinces have a very complex flavour, they are sweet (if you cook them with enough sugar), there is a little bit of apple in them, a little bit of pear, and a hint of honey. Cooking them with some lemon will definitely enhance all these flavours and add some tartness.You can also add spices like cinnamon and cloves or even ground vanilla to make them very delicious.
Some days ago P. and I spotted some quince butter (or is it quince sauce?). It was made from 100 % fruit:
This quince butter/sauce is a great addition to muesli or oatmeal, it is not sweetened and therefore slightly sour but it’s perfect in a bowl of cereal and sweetened soy milk. But, you might ask, isn’t that a bit boring? Maybe you are right and therefore I made muffins with this quince butter and the quince syrup.To make them really special, I used some bourbon vanilla P. brought me from his recent trip.
If you can’t find quince butter/sauce at a store, you can easily make it yourself. Cook some quinces until soft, drain them, and purée them in your food processor until creamy. And yes, you can probably use apple sauce or pear sauce instead of quince butter/sauce and substitute the syrup with 4 additional T of sugar and 4 T of water.
Quince Muffins with Ground Vanilla and Flax (makes 10 smallish muffins)
Recipe adapted from Chris’ Raspberry Lemon Muffins)
180 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/8 t ground bourbon vanilla
145 g (1/2 cup) soy yoghurt
8 T quince syrup (leftover from cooking quinces, see above)
3 T vegetable oil
2 T ground flax seeds
55 g (4 T) quince butter
Preheat oven to 175°C/ 350°F. Grease muffin pans and set aside.
In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla.
In a second bowl mix soy yoghurt, quince syrup, vegetable oil, flax seeds, and quince butter/sauce. Let sit for 15 minutes. Pour wet into dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour batter into muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 1-2 minutes and remove muffins from pan.
These muffins are great for a specail breakfast treat. The vanilla/quince combination gives them a very special flavour and the flax adds some texture. I would even dare to say that these are great with some margarine and quince jelly. P.S. Those muffins in the back just look burned, they aren’t.