My roommates and I took a trip to the lovely Hmart. For those of you who don’t know, the Hmart is an Asian grocery heaven. Mainly Korean, but other Asian delights can be found in the wondrous maze of the Hmart. Walking through the produce section, I spotted a quince. No, not a fifteen year old. A fruit, or vegetable, or sorts – I had no idea, but who doesn’t love a good mystery? Google revealed that quince – pronounced “kwins” – is the fruit of a small Asian tree, similar to an apple or a pear, and is not usually eaten raw. Due to my recent obsession with the slow cooker, the quince was peeled, chopped into tiny pieces, and cooked slowly overnight. Things got crazy in the morning when this relish was paired with a Manchego Cheese Sauce over Quail Egg Dumplings.
1 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
Juice of one lemon
Since this was my first experience with the quince, I perused many articles and recipes online. Most were very high in sugar – something that I was looking to avoid. Everyone who tasted this quince relish agreed that it was perfect – not tart, but not overly sweet either. This combination of sugar and lemon juice brought out the natural delicious flavor – similar to that of a baked apple and pear with a hint of spice! Mmmm, mmmm, amazing!
Peel the quince and chop into very small pieces. In a slow cooker, combine the quince, water, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix well. Cook on low heat overnight or approximately eight hours.
The quince can be a bit tough to chop, so use caution. It is similar to chopping a butternut squash. The seeds, however, are similar to a pear or an apple – be sure to remove the coarse casing before throwing the flesh into the slow cooker!
My favorite surprise with this new fruit was its color in the morning. The quince, untouched, has a bright yellow skin and looks like an awkwardly over-sized pear. Once you peel away the skin, the flesh underneath is white. White?!? I know you are probably thinking that red food dye was not one of the ingredients. Well, call this fruit “The David Copperfield” because it is full of something magical! And the aroma? Throw out your Yankee Candle room spray – unnecessary after slow cooking this all night
How could you use this quince relish? On whole wheat buttered toast. On top of scrambled eggs. With manchego cheese on a cracker. In vanilla yogurt. On top of a pork chop! Check back for more ideas later!
What do you think of the quince? Does anyone have experience with it?