"Nammi !, I left a new kind of fruit in the fruit basket downstairs " came my father's voice, as I crossed his clinic to go inside the house. My father loves to visit the market and now a days the market is brimming with fresh fruits exported from abroad and sold by an expat working( yes I am being sarcastic here) " The shopkeeper said it was a kind of pear" he added. I discovered he had bought a whole bag of Quince.
He wasn't very happy to find out from me that the fruit was inedible on its own eaten whole as it was pretty tart but best eaten cooked either in sweet or savory dishes. Click here to find out more about Quince and how to cook it here
I have never cooked or seen a Quince before except online and in books so was pretty excited. I discovered it was pretty difficult to even cut through them as they were pretty hard fleshed. I found a recipe for poaching quince , but used my own version for crumble mix and added an apple in to the fruit mix in the last minute. It was pretty good! I love the way the white fleshed quince turns a lovely pink colour when it cooks and the flesh is soft and delicious!. Because the poaching liquid was quite sweet I used a simple store bought custard powder to make some custard or just add some regular cream on top to serve. Best served warm and consumed withing 1-2 days and the crumble should never be kept in fridge as the topping becomes hard. You can make the crumble ahead and bake just an hour before serving so you are able to serve a nice warm or lukewarm crumble with cold cream or custard on top.
Recipe: Quince and Apple Crumble ( Quince poaching recipe adapted from Quince Crumble pots recipe)
1 large Quince
500 ml water
a bit of cinammon, I used a 1 inch piece
1 star anise
Crumble topping: 1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinammon
1/3 cup sugar
100g butter, softened
First you have to prepare the Quince, Peel and cut the fruit into quarters and then each quarter in to three or four slices and remove the core. I used a peeler to peel it. Rub a little lime juice from the lime half on the slices.
Next fill a sauce pan with 500 ml water and add the sugar and whole spices and lime juice ( don't squeeze the life out of the lime though) . Once the sugar dissolves add the Quince, bring to a quick boil and then simmer on a low heat till the quince softens about an hour or so. Once the quince starts to soften add the apple, ( sliced and cored,I didnt peel but if you can if you like) . Cook another 10 minutes and then remove and pour this into a 6 cup capacity oven dish, which has been lightly buttered. Set aside
Preheat your oven to 200 degree celcius.
Now for the crumble, sift the flour into a bowl, add baking powder and sugar and cinamman Mix your hands.
Now add the butter, and using your finger tips rub the butter into the flour till it resembles something like large breadcrumbs not fine ones. You might get big bits of it too but its ok.
Sprinkle this on top of the fruit mix dont pat it down!. Place on a baking tray ( in case the filling bubbles out when cooking) and pop in the oven . Bake for 20- 30 minutes till the top is golden and the filling is bubbling.
Cool slightly and Serve with cream or custard.