Baked Quinces with Verjuice
In late September/early October, the first quince fruits begin to ripen, taking on a beautiful, pale, limey-yellow complexion. Never be put off using ingredients just because you are unfamiliar with them, there is a world of flavour waiting to be explored.
2 Fresh bay leaves
Zest of a lemon
120ml Verjuice or water
1 Vanilla pod
Heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.
Rinse and wipe the quinces clean. Quarter them lengthways but don't bother to remove the pith or core.
Put the quarters (cut side up) in a baking tray, sprinkle over the sugar, the bay leaves, lemon peel and vanilla, and add the verjuice.
Cover lightly with foil and bake for two-and-a-half hours, turning the fruit a couple of times.
When the quinces are soft, sticky and a beautiful burnt-orange colour, they are ready.
Verjuice - an ancient ingredient, the French - ‘Vert Jus’ or Green Juice of semi ripe unfermented wine grapes. Mildly sweet tartness of lemon juice and acidity of vinegar, used to heighten flavours and a base for sauces or dressings.
Chocolate Mousse with Baked Quinces
200g Good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% per cent cocoa solids)
4 Eggs, separated
200ml Double cream
1 tbsp Caster sugar
Pinch of sea salt
Prepare the quinces as per the first recipe. Melt the chocolate slowly in a heatproof bowl with 2 tblsp of water set over a pan of gently simmering water until smooth and shiny then remove from the heat and beat in the egg yolks. In another bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and fold it into the chocolate.
In a third bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form, then gradually whisk in the sugar. Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, the first addition will loosen the chocolate, the second make it light. Pour into individual French glasses or kilner jars and chill for 1 hour. Serve with the baked quinces and extra whipped cream or crème fraiche.
Quince Crumble – a winner
120g Plain flour
2 tbsp Muscovado sugar
120g Unsalted butter, cold
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4
In a separate bowl, sieve the flour and add the sugar; stir together with your fingers to combine. Cut the butter into little cubes, add to the flour-sugar mixture and crumble between your fingers until it is the texture of sand. If you have a few lumps left in the mixture, all the better.
Sprinkle the mix over the quinces and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden-brown.
Love Emily x