discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Thursday, 27 March 2014

heavenly spiced pears, apples and quinces

I was delivered a bounty of gorgeous home grown quinces, apples and pears from a friend who has lots of land and an orchard.   She is a friend of a friend, truth be told, but we often exchange our foodie goodies and both always get into that comfortable rhythm that happens when 2 like minded people get together, who can out do who on the cooking ideas, recipes or foodie adventures.

The fruit lay around for a few days until I had the time to get my creative juices flowing.  I looked in the cupboards and thought of what I had.  Slow cooked in spices was where I headed.  I didn't have any flash vanilla beans, cinnamon quills or star anise but I did have a will and dried spices.  So I started with a basic sugar syrup which I roughly measure out 2-1 ratio - 2 cups of water to 1 cup of sugar.  You can make it sweeter or less so, just taste as you go.  I added 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ground ginger and I grated in a good 1/4 of a fresh nutmeg- and wouldn't you know it, it fell in so there it stayed.  The peel and juice from an orange and you are ready to put it altogether.  Peel and de-core your quinces, apples and pears, although I left the stem and core in the pears as they were small and I wanted them left in their original shape.

Place the fruit in an oven proof dish and cover with the spicy liquid and pop the lid on or cover with foil and slow cook at 150c for 3 hours or until the quinces go a lovely shade of ruby red.

The syrup can be drained off and reduced further in a saucepan to get it thicker if you like.  I've frozen these in batches, ready for when winter hits.  
I never tire of what happens 
when you cook basic ingredients well.
  These are sticky sweet with that heady spice flavour that I just know will be perfect for the goodies I'm going to bake with them....crumble, whole pear and apple cakes and just eaten warmed with a dollop of yoghurt and some nuts for texture.  
Bring on the cold weather!

Ciao, Jan.

3 comments :

  1. What a lovely exchange! It must keep things exciting as you'll never know what you'll have! :D

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  2. looks delicious to me :) and so good on a cold night!

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  3. Hi agree with NQN Jan, it is a wonderful exchange system you have going. To be able to get something you didn't expect and then make a special winter-ready dish like this one, now that's a great arrangement. I personally try and avoid fruit that looks too supermarket perfect, and instead embrace the imperfections natural home-grown stuff, it means it tastes good and is good for us.

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