The saying "everything old is new again" could well apply to Quince. It's a fruit that has been long part of our history, mentions of it go back to 600BC but in the last few years it seems to have been rediscovered and now that it is Quince season, it's popping up everywhere.
I've included quite a few quince recipes on this site - I've stewed them, poached them and even oven roasted them but this time I've decided to do them in a slow cooker.
Quinces love long, slow cooking and it's that process that rewards you with that incredible colour shift and while this can be accomplished in the oven, the slow cooker makes it even easier.
In this recipe, you'll notice that I've not added any other flavourings to it - I have in the past added things like cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, cloves, lemon etc but I really don't think that is necessary.
For fruits like apples, pears and even apricots, which don't have a strongly defined flavour, adding something like vanilla or cinnamon gives it substance. In the case of Quince, it is such uniquely flavoured fruit, it deserves to stand on its own.
Slow Poached Quince
1 kilo quince
5 cups water
3 cups sugar
Prepare the quince:
Quinces oxidise very quickly once they have been peeled so it's important to have a large bowl of water into which the juice of one lemon has been added - this is known as acidulated water. It's also best to work on one quince at a time.
Cut the quince into quarters, remove the core and then peel. Pop the prepared quince into the acidulated water. Repeat the process until all the quince has been prepared.
Make the sugar syrup:
Place the water and sugar into a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour this hot syrup into the slow cooker.
Drain the quinces and add them to the syrup. Cover with the lid and cook for 4 hours on high. Turn the heat to low and continue cooking for another 6 hours.
If you are a bit more organised, I don't see a problem in starting this the night before (and cooking it on Low for the full 10 hours) so you can awake to that wonderful aroma of poached quinces. Regardless of what happens, you would have at least started the day on a very high note.