Grub Americana

Poached Quince with Vanilla and Cinnamon

Poaching the gritty, rock-hard quince turns its inedibly astringent flesh into a lovely fruit that can be used as a topping for your morning oatmeal or farina. It's also delicious over your afternoon ice cream or a slice of pound cake topped with whipped cream.

Recipe makes about 4 servings

Whatcha Need:

  • 4 cups water, preferably filtered or spring water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 plump vanilla bean, split
  • 4 large quinces

Whatcha Do:

  1. Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean in a heavy-bottomed 2 1/2- to 4-quart saucepan. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Peel the quince with a vegetable peeler and cut them into quarters. Cut out the cores and cut each quarter in half.

  2. Add the fruit to the syrup. Return the pot to medium-low heat and bring the syrup to just below a boil. Reduce the heat and keep the syrup at a bare simmer for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until a sharp paring knife slips easily into a slice of quince. The quinces will have turned a pale pinkish color. Cool the fruit in the syrup. Refrigerated, the fruit and syrup will keep for a week or more.

Recipe adapted from Regan Daley's "In the Sweet Kitchen"