Back in May, a beautiful and mysterious tree in our new back yard had me puzzled. I don’t remember seeing that corner tree when we looked at the house last Thanksgiving weekend, nor had I ever been around such a tree. I’m thrilled that it’s a quince tree! I got a bag of quinces to cook last year from a friend in Kaiserslautern, but Jeff took them with him to share with others, thinking that they looked like apples. Too bad, as quinces cannot be eaten raw because they are hard as rocks. So, I never got to experiment with cooking them until now. Hope nobody broke a tooth on them last year.
I’ve always adored quince jelly and heard that it is challenging to make because quinces are so difficult to peel and chop. Several blog recipes urged caution when using large knives to chop up the quinces. I thought, “there has got to be a better way!”
It turns out, quinces can be boiled whole, and are sooooo delicious without any fancy footwork (er, knife work). As much as quince jelly makes me happy, I don’t need piles of jars of the stuff, since I’m trying so hard to reduce my intake of carbs (NOT EASY IN GERMANY!). Quince jelly on toast will always be a favorite, but I like fruit lots of other/healthier ways, too.
So, I boiled a pot of quinces and was able to easily peel them while they were still warm, cutting them into irregular pieces. The area near the core was still solid, so I probably disposed of more than necessary in order to not fight the resistance and risk a sliced finger. One trip to the ER last year to have medical glue applied to a finger which had been attacked by a vegetable peeler was enough!
I planned to make a fruit crisp, which requires 4 cups of fruit, but used some of the quinces instead with pancakes. The flavor is difficult to describe…halfway between a delicate apple and a peach…sort of. Unique and spectacular.
There is another batch cooling now. The air was fragranced so nicely from the simmering water that I decided to make one pot full every day until I run out. Fruit crisp is up next! Check out how much I’m saving with the back-yard tree! 1.99 Euro per KG. Don't ask me to do conversions for you :).