Monday, November 25, 2013
My cooking adventure this week was Quince -- something I'd heard of but never tasted. I heard a piece about the fruit on NPR, and so did a friend, so we discussed it and both thought it would be fun to try. So when I saw it at my local supermarket, I bought a dozen (despite the considerable expense!) and went to work.
The fruit is hard and dry when it is raw, with a very woody inner core. But it softened nicely after cooking for nearly an hour. I made half of the quinces into paste, and the other half into sauce. I spent hours -- yes, hours -- stirring the steamy pot at the stove and, since I didn't start with very many fruit, I also didn't end up with much to show. Four small jars of sauce, to be exact, and a small log of paste.
So it was a lot of work and, I thought, not worth it. Until I tasted it. This stuff is good! The sauce was okay, like applesauce but tasting a little like a combination of pear and apple, only better. But the paste, which is more intensely flavored, is my favorite -- absolutely delicious. I've been eating small cubes of it with cheese and nuts, and can't wait to try dipping little squares into dark chocolate. I gave a slice to my son's family, ate a (couple of) slice(s) myself, and am trying to save the rest until my friend can come over for dinner so that I can share the experience. Don't you just love trying and cooking with new foods?! I know I do. :)