My aunt Tania has a couple of quince trees in her backyard. What is quince?

You may ask. Well it’s quite an incredible fruit. You can read more about quince here. What do I know about quince? Not that much. I ate it for the
first time a few weeks ago while I was visiting my aunt and uncle before moving into school. A while ago when I visited her, she had guests over, and they were so interested in the quince they took nearly two whole grocery bags filled to the top with the strange fruit. I didn’t try it then, because a) I don’t speak Russian and I had no idea what they were talking about and b) They looked far too weird to me. But when I was there recently, I was interested to know all about quince. I picked several of the fruits in a hope to make quince jam/jelly/marmalade, but with no pectin in
sight, that wasn’t an option.

My aunt told me to cut and core them, and then she would teach me the best way to cook quince. I still thought we were making jam, but I was wrong (thank goodness… the final product of this recipe is so divine).

For this recipe I used about 2.5-3 pounds of quince, but if you’re not sure you’re going to like it, you should just use one or two pieces of fruit.

Quince in a Simple Syrup… Quince Style
After picking your fruit, make sure you wash the outside well. The outer layer of skin should feel a bit fuzzy (kind of like a peach… but with a waxy texture beneath) and you want to wash that off. You also want to scrub at the waxy layer a bit so it doesn’t taste rubbery in the end. Once washed, slice the quince like you would an apple. Cut out the core and stem and throw these in a small pot with some water and put on a medium-high heat to boil.
Put your slices of quince in a larger pot with 2 cups of water and about one cup of sugar. You are basically making a simple syrup on top of the quince.
When eaten raw, quince have a bit of a bitter taste at first, which then changes and becomes a little sweeter on your tongue while proceeding to dry out your mouth, it sounds disgusting, but it’s actually kind of fun.
Let the quince sit on the stove for quite some time. After around 20-30 minutes, drain the quince cores and stems from the smaller pot of water and pour that water into your quince slices. You can add more sugar later on if you feel it isn’t sweet enough. You can also add more water if the mixture dries out. Boil the quince and then when they start to turn from yellow to a bright orange, turn off the heat and let them cool. Your kitchen will smell wonderful at this point. Once the quince have cooled, you are supposed to boil them twice more. The more you boil the quince, the more red they become.
I only had enough time to boil my quince once, and they taste divine just like that. When you boil them more, the flavor intensifies and the sugar really soaks into the fruit, but I just let my quince drown in the syrup when I serve them, and it works out nicely.
Try quince! They are too weird to pass up, and you can prepare them in non-sugary ways to serve with savory dishes. I think You’ll really love this fruit, especially if you’re up for something new to surprise your guests or family with.

Next time I make quince, I’m boiling them three times. I want to see them bright red.

Love and Happy Spatulas,
Alyssa
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