Baked quinces

all details

My favourite recipe for quinces, which I learnt from Lyndall Vandenberg, who preserves them each year for the Stefano de Pieri label. Of course, the spices can vary to suit your taste - honey, cardamom, orange zest, cinnamon and fresh bay leaves is another combination I love.

Baked quinces
Photo: Marina Oliphant

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • peel of 1 orange
  • 2 vanilla beans, split in half
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 6 quinces

Method

Combine the sugar and water with the spices and orange zest, bring to the boil and stir. Turn off the heat when the sugar is dissolved. Heat the oven to 160C.

Peel, quarter and core the quinces, but do not discard the skins and cores. Lay the quartered quinces in a deep ovenproof dish and pour over the sugar syrup. If you have a muslin cloth lay it over the quinces, then scatter over the peel and cores to save picking them out when cooked and cooled.

Cover with baking paper then a sheet of foil, tucked in at the sides. Cook 4-5 hours or until the quinces are a deep, rosy red.

Cool in the syrup, then place the quince quarters in jars without the skins and cores and cover with the strained liquid. They will keep in the fridge for weeks.

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