I can remember those cooking marathons my Mother used to endure around Christmas time, when all the cooking would be put to an halt to produce countless pots of marmelada. Do not confuse with marmalada... Marmelada is a very sugary quincy purée, which is a staple in every Portuguese kitchen. It seems to be something the Romans learnt from the Greeks, and which staid with us until today,wikipedia dixit.
In any case, I would have thought to use the actual fruits for a dessert until I saw this recipe. And, I am glad I have tried it. Once you start with it, you just want to come back for more.
Quince poached in pomegranate juice (adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s column in The Guardian)
- 2 large quinces, peeled and quartered
- 800ml pomegranate juice
- 70g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- The shaved peel of 1 large orange, plus 50ml juice
- 2 whole star anise
- 65g pomegranate seeds
- 120g clotted cream
- 2 tsp fresh mint leaves (optional)
Core the eight quince quarters. Discard four cores and tie the others into a bundle with an old tea towel or muslin. Put the cored quince quarters into a heavy-based pan and add the wrapped-up cores, pomegranate juice, sugar, vanilla pod and seeds, orange peel and juice, and star anise. Bring to a boil, turn down to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 15-25 minutes, until the quince is soft.
Remove the quince quarters with a slotted spoon and set aside. Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes or so, until it’s thick, syrupy and reduced to about 75ml. Just before serving, squeeze all the thick juices out of the core bundle into the sauce, then discard along with the orange peel, star anise and vanilla. Return the quince to the syrup and gently warm through. Place two quarters of quince on each plate, pour over some syrup and serve with clotted cream and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds and shredded mint (if using)