Composition of Quinces

Elizabeth Olley: Quinces and Marigolds 1995

Quince Crumble

Poached Quinces

Boil up a poaching liquid using 6 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar in a large pot, and 2 or 3 cloves.  Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the pot, then drop the skins in too.  The acidity of the lemon will prevent discolouration of the quinces.  Slice quinces into sixths or eighths lengthwise, slipping them into the pot as quickly as possible.  Quinces will discolour rapidly if they are left in open air.  The core and peel will help deepen the colour of the fruit and poaching liquid.  Reduce the temperature until the poaching liquid is barely simmering, and cook for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours until the fruit is tender and richly red. Allow to cool in liquid.  When cool enough to handle, slip of skins and remove cores with a small, sharp knife.  Arrange peeled and cored quinces in a baking dish with half a cup of the poaching syrup.

Crumble Topping

Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.  Prepare the crumble topping from Gourmet Traveller’s Baked Apple, Soy Caramel, Crumble and Cream, but spread the raw mixture over the quinces, and bake for about 30 minutes, until the quinces are bubbling and the crumble topping is browned and crispy.  Serve with lightly whipped cream.

About the Artist

This dish is an incubation of ideas gathered from reading up on blogging as an art form, receiving the weekly alert from Gourmet Traveller, a basket of seasonal quinces at the greengrocer, and catching a documentary about Margaret Olley.  Margaret Olley is a national treasure, and the warmth and composure that her still life imbues was the inspiration for this warm and comforting dish.

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