I think I’ve already told you that poaching is my favourite way to cook fruits. I not only use poached fruits in my desserts, but also in my breakfasts. Try to serve poached quinces or pears with plain Greek yoghurt or you favourite porridge, sprinkled with seeds or flaked almonds and with a good drizzle of honey! Sounds nice? As for me, surely it does!
So, here is another option of how to use the local quinces I got recently. Their delicious scent and tart flavor mixes well with vanilla – I personally love this combination. I made a bigger batch and used it in salads with mozzarella and sheep’s milk ġbejna with sweet honey dressing…and it came out really nice. I hope to get more quinces next year!
Quinces poached in Sauternes
- 550 ml water
- 450 ml sauternes
- 150 gr sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 10 cardamom pods, pounded slightly in a mortar
- Vanilla pod, cut length way
- Few whole cloves
- Wide stripe of orange and lemon zest
- 3 medium quinces
- 150 gr fresh ricotta
- 1 tablespoon of icing sugar
- A handful of pistachios
- Sauterne syrup or maple syrup to serve
for sauternes syrup (needs to be made in advance)
- 150 gr soft brown sugar
- 150 ml sauternes
- 150 ml warm water
- Place the water, wine, sugar, a half of vanilla bean, spices and the orange and lemon zest into a saucepan big enough to fit quinces and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and leave to infuse while you are preparing the quinces.
- You can peel quinces if you want, but I left the skin on. If you decide to peel them, place the fruits in a bowl with water mixed with lemon juice to avoid discoloration. Cut quinces in halves and remove the cores. This is not an easy task as the core is very firm. Use the melon baller if you have one.
- Immerse quinces cut side down in the poaching liquid and cover with a piece of greaseproof paper and weight it down to make sure they submerged completely.
- Poach on a very gentle heat for 20-25 minutes, take of the heat but leave quinces in the liquid. The residual heat will continue to cook them. The quinces should be soft but not fall apart.
- Scarp out the seeds of other half of vanilla bean and mix it with the icing sugar, then mix it with ricotta.
- Dry fry pistachios and set aside.
- Put the dollop of ricotta mix on the top of the half of each quince.
- Sprinkle with pistachios and pour the sauternes syrup or maple syrup to serve.
To make syrup
- Put the sugar in a saucepan, mix the wine with water and pour it over the sugar.
- Brush the sides of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in the water (to avoid crystallization of sugar on the sides).
- Place the saucepan over the low heat and stir it helping sugar to dissolve.
- When sugar has dissolved, increase the heat, brush sides of the saucepan with water again and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Boil it down for 15 minutes to get a thicker syrup. You can boil it only for couple of minutes to make a thinner one, so that you could get a cold stock syrup that is perfect for fruit salads, for instance.