Tuesday, 31 March 2015

My favourite Autumn dessert - Slowly Baked Quince with Caramelised Quince Syrup

My favourite Autumn dessert is slowly baked quince, served with the syrup that they were cooked in and a generous spoonful of labne or strained yoghurt.

 The quinces ripened earlier this year and whilst the harvest was not as bountiful as last year,


there were some big ones in the crop. Fortunately, a friend has promised me lots as her trees are loaded.

Quinces are one of those fruits that must be cooked and the perfume of the just ripe quince in the fruit bowl and slowly baked quinces is something that I look forward to each year.

A goodly number of our quinces are slowly baked in a syrup to have for dessert and the remainder frozen to have throughout the year or made into other preserves.

Sometimes I make this quite dense ginger cake to have with the quinces.

Baked Quince with Caramelised Quince Syrup
4 -6 quinces
1 cup Marsala wine / port
2 cups water
1 ½ cups sugar

To serve
Labne(h), cream, icecream

Chopped pistachios

Wash and gently rub the skin of the quinces to remove the furry outside of the skin.
Cut each quince in half and layer across the bottom of a casserole or baking dish.
Pour over water and Marsala wine and sugar. The quinces need to be covered by the liquid. Add a little more wine or water if necessary.
Bake at 140 deg C until soft and quinces have developed a deep ruby colour. They can be cooked at a lower temperature for a longer time.
Remove from the oven; carefully remove quinces to a serving plate.
Boil a kettle of water. Pour / strain the syrup into a saucepan and reduce down until thick and just beginning to caramelise. Remove from heat and then carefully pour in a cup of boiling water, the mixture will spit so stand back. Return to heat, stir and dissolve the caramelised syrup. Add more water if necessary or simmer until a thick pouring consistency.

Serve with the quinces, labne(h), cream or icecream and chopped pistachios.

This quick melt and mix loaf is perfect the ginger lover. I mostly make it in a deep slice tin. I also serve it sliced and buttered. It is best served fresh and I like it warm.  Cut leftover into individual pieces and freeze. Refresh in the microwave.

Ginger Cake
500g treacle
125 g butter
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

1 – 2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon green ginger, finely grated
¾ -1 cup milk

Melt the treacle and butter together over low heat. Cool slightly, and then add remaining ingredients except for milk. Stir and add the milk until mixture forms a thick batter.
Spoon into a greased deep slice tin, bake at 170 deg C until a skewer tests clean, approximately 40 minutes. 

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