oven poached quince

Autumn brings with it pears, quince and chestnuts. 

When I saw quince in the fruit market I brought a few home with me. I decided to poach them and dived into my copy of Stephanie Alexanders 'The Cooks Companion' for a recipe.

Quince are tough little numbers so you need a sharp knife to deal with them. Some people pot roast them whole but I find trying to remove the peel, seeds and core from the cooked quince a bit too fiddly for my liking.

Quince are inedible unless cooked and they need long slow cooking. As they cook they change colour from pale green to a rich ruby red. I initially cooked the quince for 2 hours and although they were cooked I wanted them to be ruby red, so I continued cooking them for a further 2 hours. You can see how the colour changes with cooking time.

Here's the recipe for you and it's beauty is in it's simplicity.
Stephanie's poached quince
6 quinces, washed and peeled
2.25 litres light sugar syrup
1 vanilla bean
juice of 1 lemon

To make the light sugar syrup, heat 2 parts water to 1 part sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Preheat oven to 150°C. 
Cut quinces into quarters or sixths. Cut out cores and tie loosely in a piece of muslin. Put sugar syrup in a cast-iron pot with vanilla bean, lemon juice and muslin bag, then add quince. Cover tightly and bake in oven for at least 4 (and up to 8) hours until quince is deep red. Do not stir or the quince may break up.

Split the vanilla bean and scrape seeds into the syrup. I reduced the syrup over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Cool the quince in the syrup.  

I can't really describe the taste of quince. It really is unique. So far I've eaten the poached fruit with some stewed apple and yoghurt and I've served it with  pannacotta. I found a recipe for quince cake that I'm dying to try so if I get round to making it, I'll share that with you.

See you all again soon,



  1. I love quince, I usually bake mine for 6-8 hours. I love it on porridge but have been making the most delicious quince and ginger cake. Divine. It is actually a pear and ginger upside down from but the trick is you need a loose base on your cake tin and something to catch the syrup that will drip out. If it doesn't drip a bit it never cooks properly!

  2. Hi Lisa,

    I've been having quince with my porridge as well. Last time I made an upside down pear and ginger cake, I forgot to put a tray underneath to catch the drips. I set off the smoke detectors and my neighbours came to rescue me!

    Have a lovely weekend,



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