Poached quince with madeleines and citrus curd

Camorra quince recipe: Poached madelines with lemon curd.
Camorra quince recipe: Poached madelines with lemon curd. Photo: Marina Oliphant

If you're in the mood for a long, slow stove session, simmer up some fragrant quince.

Ingredients

For the quince:

1.75 litres water

200g sugar

150g honey

6 strips of zest from 1 lemon

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

6 medium quinces

For the madeleines:

40g unsalted butter

100g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

100g caster sugar

1 egg

1½ tbsp milk

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped

Grated zest of one lemon

Icing sugar

For the citrus curd:

6 egg yolks

5 tbsp caster sugar

2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated

1 tsp orange zest, finely grated

50ml lemon juice

50ml orange juice

50g unsalted butter, chopped

 

Method

For the quince:

Mix the water, sugar, honey, lemon zest and vanilla bean in a large non-reactive (not aluminium) pot over medium-to-high heat. While the liquid is heating, quarter, peel and core the quinces - making sure to remove any fibrous bits - then slip them into the simmering liquid. Place a round of baking paper with a small hole cut at the centre over the mix and press it down slightly so it's sitting on the fruit. Simmer on the lowest heat until the quinces are cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending on the quince, but it's not unusual for them to take up to two hours.

For the madeleines:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and cook until brown. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the milk. Pour this into the flour mixture and whisk until combined, then add the vanilla seeds and whisk again. Gradually pour in the browned butter and whisk well, then whisk in the lemon zest. Allow the mixture to rest for 1-2 hours in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter madeleine moulds, coating well. Spoon or pipe the mixture into the moulds and bake for 6-10 minutes, or until golden. Tap the madeleines out of the moulds onto a rack to cool briefly. Dust with icing sugar. Place four quince quarters on each plate with a small amount of syrup. Put three teaspoons of curd (see recipe below) around the plate and finish with two madeleines.

For the citrus curd:

Whisk yolks and sugar in a small saucepan until pale. Place over a low heat, add citrus zest, juice and butter, and whisk until frothy. Stir continuously for 5 minutes, or until curd coats the back of a spoon. Transfer to a bowl, cover with greaseproof paper and allow to cool.