Weekend Herb Blogging heads back down here to Melbourne where the wonderful Ellie from Kitchen Wench is hosting.
This seems a bit egotistical but this edition marks for me, a year of participating in WHB so I thought I'd make a mosaic to celebrate the event.
Many thanks go to Kalyn for starting the whole concept of Weekend Herb Blogging and for all the work she does in keeping it running so smoothly. It's been great to take the time to look a little more deeply into the ingredients we use - it's been the best learning experience and lots of fun to boot.
With that said it's time to return to this edition and this week it's more seasonal produce in the form of Quince!
It does resemble a rather large and misshaped pear but the Quince is quite an ancient fruit. It's mentioned by the Greeks in 600BC where it was considered a symbol of fertility. Some believe it has a far more nefarious past and that it was a Quince and not an Apple that lead to Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
Nutritionally Quince is high in Vitamin C, Fibre and Potassium. They really can't be eaten raw and the best method of extracting their hidden beauty is in stewing or poaching the fruit. In fact, the idea of cooking Quince in sweetened liquids date back to first century Rome.
When I stew Quince and other fruits for that matter, I don't tend to add a lot of flavourings as I really just want the fruit characters to emerge. Besides the beautiful perfume that's released as the quinces slowly cook, we also get an amazing colour change - from its rather bland off-white flesh, it becomes almost jewel like with its reddish-pink hue.
approx. 1.5 kg Quinces (roughly 4 medium sized Quince)
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla pod, sliced in half
Prepare the Quince:
Have a bowl of water at the ready in which you have added the juice of 1 lemon - this will stop the quince pieces from browning.
Cut each Quince into quarters, then peel and core, placing the pieces into the prepared water.
Put the water, sugar and vanilla pod into a large pot and place over a low heat - stirring well until the sugar dissolves.
Add the drained quince pieces - the water in the pot should just cover them.
Turn the heat down so it barely simmers and cover the pot. Allow the quince to cook undisturbed and very slowly for about 3 hours. It's most important that this is done slowly as you'll achieve a much deeper colour change.
Once cooked, let the quinces cool in the pot.
If you aren't going to use them straight away, store them with the syrup in a sealed container in the fridge.
There are many things you can do with your stewed Quince but here I'm serving it as lovely lazy Sunday breakfast.
On a bed of yoghurt (I used Tasmanian Vanilla Yoghurt) lay 2-3 quince quarters.
Take a cup of syrup and place in a small saucepan and boil rapidly - you want to reduce this syrup by about half to three-quarters. This will intensify the colour and when cooled will become jelly-like.
Let the syrup stand for a few minutes so it cools a little before pouring it over the quinces. The chill from the yoghurt and quince will cause the syrup to begin setting.
Tagged with Weekend Herb Blogging : WHB