Q is for Quince

One of the mature trees we inherited at Dreamland is a beautiful bearing Quince tree. It doesn’t seem to have the bi-annual cycles that many of the other fruit trees have. It overhangs the boundary fence with Homeland and ever since we moved in, it has been bearing nice fruit. And even with the dry summer we’ve had, it is still bearing very well. So what is a quince and what do we do with quinces?

According to Wikipedia, quince (Cydonia oblonga) is the sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae (which also contains apples and pears, among other fruits). It is a deciduous tree that bears a pome fruit, similar in appearance to a pear, and bright golden-yellow when mature. Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is also grown for its attractive pale pink blossoms and other ornamental qualities. (Note to self – need to get a more authentic reference for plants.)

Quince - tree

Quince tree at the Dreamland / Homeland fence

Although quinces are eaten raw in the tropics, just like apples, in colder climates, quince has a tougher rind and astringent flesh which makes it too acidic and bitter to be enjoyed raw. So although our summers are definitely not “colder”, I guess because of our cold winter, it is primarily eaten cooked.

Here’s Patricia’s description of the process:

Slow baked quince looks rich and beautiful and smells wonderful.  I love eating the warm quince with cream or yogurt with the syrup, formed during the baking process, drizzled over it all.

We picked a few quince from the laden tree next door.  It was early enough in the day to process them and bake them to be ready for dessert that night.  As I layered the quince in the deep oven pan and drizzled honey over it I thought about sterilizing a bottle for the left over quince and syrup.  As much as I like the warm quince I am not as enthusiastic about the cold quince.  So while I was thinking about the deep red syrup that would form, semolina cake popped into my head.  That is just perfect.  Semolina cake would soak up all that syrup and it would be delicious to eat for two or three days. And I would not need to refrigerate the syrup in a bottle.

I finished sprinkling cinnamon and lemon myrtle over the quince, added some water and covered it with wet baking paper before securing the lid of the pan and popping it into the oven.

Quince - roasted

Slow baked quince

Just before dinner I mixed a semolina cake and baked it in the oven as well.  I tried to time the completion of the cake with the time I would take the quince out of the oven, so that I could pour the hot quince syrup straight over the cake.

Quince - semolina cake

Semolina quince cake

It was every bit as good as I anticipated it to be.  It made a seriously delicious semolina cake.  Low in sugars and high in really good nutrients too.  Everything a decadent dessert can be.

Quince - roasted with semolina cake

Desert is served

Of course, some others are also interested, but I haven’t really seen them eat any of the quince. I think this one just likes sitting on the fence and being part of the action:

Quince - other interest

About martin@muchmoremulch.blog (161 Articles)
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp, I now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife, two children and two dogs. My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Farming, include sustainable living, surfing, horse-riding, a wide variety of music, dancing, nature, birds, reading, Christianity and a few other things which I never get to...

6 Comments on Q is for Quince

  1. Lovely Quince ! Does it produce every year ? I’d like to try and some perry like beverage with them – would you call that Querry ?

    • martin@muchmoremulch.blog // April 30, 2019 at 9:41 am // Reply

      Hi Eric, this tree is amazing – full of quince every year! Mmmm some querry sounds interesting (not that I have started making cider or perry – yet, but who knows, one day when we have too much fruit…) It is quite acidic though, but I think that would make a nice drink – not too sweet.

  2. Not worth growing quince here I’m afraid – even pears are pushing it! I’ll have to look up the recipe for semolina cake though – looks great!
    I assume you’ve tried http://temperate.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Cydonia+oblonga and http://tcpermaculture.com/site/ as potential info sources?

    • martin@muchmoremulch.blog // April 30, 2019 at 9:25 am // Reply

      Wow, I thought pears would grow even where it is cold – back in South Africa they were growing them quite high up in the mountain valleys where it got really cold, misty and windy (sounds like your area?) Ha ha, Nancy, don’t assume… thanks for the reference sites! 🙂

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