Sunday, 15 November 2009


We have had a quince tree in our garden for 20 or so years. It is planted against 6 ft high wall, has white, a little pinkish, flowers in profusion in spring. Each flower is 2 inches across and, each autumn, it has a huge crop of fruit. Two months ago, the tree keeled over so that the trunk was nearly horizontal.  On investigation, the tree had come away from the wall because all the ties had rusted through but most of its roots were still intact and so I took a command decision, to leave it as it was until the fruit ripened in November. I stripped the fruit from the tree ten days ago and the gardener cut back the top growth , upended the tree and strapped it more securely to the wall, using nylon rope. It had not even dropped any leaves since it fell over so I am hoping that it will be okay next year. It has been given buckets and buckets of home made compost and rotted leaves just to show I love it still.

The picture shows a few fruit on their way from the garage to the kitchen. I do give away a lot of fruit but even so, each quince weighs in at about a pound and there is a limit to the amount of quince jelly we want and friends we have!. So I have two recipes which work well.

The first is a lamb tajine where you add fried slices of quince twenty minutes before the end of cookling. 2 quinces for 4 people. This is also a good trick with a guinea fowl casserole.

But the best recipe is slightly startling.

Turn on the oven to 180 degrees. Take 2 quinces, wash to get rid of the indumentum on the skin, remove the hard core and slice up. Put the slices into a casserole dish, add 3 heaped tablespoonfuls of sugar and spread over the slices, pour over 200 ml of whipping or double cream. Put in the oven for 50-60 minutes. This is really too much for two people but okay for three. Mean for four.

Two extra points
1) if the quince has mottled brownish flesh, don't worry, it has not gone bad. If it is soft and thoroughly brown, throw it out.
2) don't even think of using any milk or single cream, it curdles and is horrid.

I got up early this morning and woven another piece of double stitched cloth. I have two more to go.


  1. I grow quinces, too. I cut up whole quinces, add water to a heavy pot with the quince pieces, and cook until tender. Then I make applesauce (quincesauce). (1) Use this in a recipe for applesauce cake. The cake will be less sweet and more flavorful than with apples. I add nuts to the cake. (2) Put the sauce back in the pot with some sugar and cook on low heat, stirring as needed. Taste to see if it needs more sugar. Quinces have pectin. With enough sugar and cooking, you end up with a paste that firms as it cools. Serve a slice of this quince paste with a slice of cheese and perhaps a biscuit. In Spain and Mexico you can buy this as "membrillo".
    There is a recipe in Gourmet Magazine, 2009, I think September, for quinces poached in cardamon syrup.
    I hope your tree is happy now!

  2. I have great hopes that the quince tree will survive. It still has green leaves when everything else has given up what with the wind and the rain. Yes we make quince cheese for eating with a hard cheese. The other thing I do is use it as a substitute for sour mango. You can't buy them very often in the middle of England and I was inspired to try a quince with our favourite dahl (lentil) dish. It works so well that I spent some time on Sunday frying slices of quince and putting them away in the freezer.

    Interested to hear of your cake. I have a recipe for buns (muffins?) with diced apple and quince in the middle which is nice.



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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.