About Quince + Recipes from Chef Miki

About Quince

Looking like an apple or a roundish pear and tasting a little like both, for over 4,000 years quince trees have been cultivated in Asia and the Mediterranean. Today, the quince is also found in Latin America, the Middle East and the United States.

Rarely used in its raw form, the juicy flesh of the quince turns from light pink to almost purple, becoming softer and sweeter when cooked. A favorite for baking and preserving because of its sweet-sour flavor and high levels of pectin, quince can also be used to make jams and jellies.

Although quince may bruise easily, marks on the skin usually do not affect the quality of the fruit. The skin color will shift from green to yellow as the fruit ripens, but will still be firm. Store in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Will keep for a couple of weeks. Quince should be peeled before using.

Our very own Chef Miki has come up with a few new Quince recipes to enjoy for yourself!

QUINCE COFFEE CAKE

SERVES 12

by: Chef Miki Hackney

This recipe is a convenient make-ahead or freezes well for later breakfast or brunch cake.  Thaw and serve the next morning, especially during the busy spring and summer months.

BATTER
2 ea      quince
1 c       non-fat yogurt, room temperature
½ tsp   vanilla
1 c       unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ c   sugar
2          eggs, room temperature
2 c       all purpose flour
1 tsp    baking powder
¼ tsp   kosher salt
TOPPING
1 c       chopped and toasted nuts
1 tsp    ground cinnamon
¼ tsp   nut meg, fresh grated
4 tsp    brown sugar
GARNISH
Fresh, seasonal berries or powdered sugar

For best results, always have the dairy ingredients at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350F and set rack to lower third of oven.  Lightly oil a bundt pan and set aside.  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

Wash quince.  Using a potato peeler, pare quince into a bowl.  It is normal for quince to brown, but will not affect finished dish. Reserve half of quince for topping. Using a spatula, fold sour cream into remaining quince.

In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Scrape down sides of mixing bowl, reduce mixer to medium speed and add eggs one at a time.  Remove bowl from mixer and fold in yogurt mixture and vanilla.  Fold flour mixture into batter in ½ cup increments.

Spoon half of the batter into prepared bundt pan, cover with half the topping and quince; repeat process.  Do not smooth the batter. 


Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of batter comes out with few crumbs.  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack or serving plate to finish cooling.  If freezing as a whole or cut into wedges, tightly wrap in plastic wrap, then foil.  Cake may be frozen up to four months.

RICH QUINCE CREPES


FILLS up to 10 CREPES

by: Chef Miki Hackney

1 pkg   Melissa’s Crepes
2 ea      Quince
2 ea      Nectarine or Peach
juice of one lemon, optional
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz     water
2 oz     apple juice
1 tsp    cinnamon
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup   Greek Yogurt
Garnish-
            Fresh mint sprigs
            Melissa’s Cinnamon Dessert Sauce

Wash and pat dry all fruit.   Pit and cut nectarine or peach into approximate ¼” cubes. Pare quince with a potato peeler.  You may sprinkle quince with lemon juice to retard browning, but oxidation will not affect quality of finished dish.

Working with both quince on a non-skid surface, carefully cut off one side of quince, avoiding the core area, bloom and stem.  Set quince on its cut surface and cut off another cheek.  Repeat with other two sides of both quince.  Cut cheeks into approximate ¼ inch cubes and add to nectarine cubes.

Set a pan over medium high heat.  Once pan is heated, add unsalted butter, quince and nectarines.  Sauté until fruit begins to caramelize on most pieces.  Carefully add water, apple juice, cinnamon and sugar.  Reduce heat to simmer; cook until fruit is fork tender and most of liquid has evaporated.  Do not overcook.  When ready, remove from heat and cool.

Place Greek yogurt into a medium mixing bowl.  Fold fruit into yogurt.  Mixture may be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours. 

Plating-
Remove one crepe from package and set browned side down on a clean work surface.
Stir filling just enough to make it spreadable.  Spread about 1/3 cup onto lower third of crepe. Fold bottom of crepe onto filling, then sides.  Roll up crepe and place on serving dish.  Filled crepe may be gently cut in half with a sharp knife and plated in criss-cross fashion.  Garnish with washed mint leaf sprig and drizzle with cinnamon dessert sauce.


Any leftover filling can be topped with granola for your morning fruit.  Unused crepes may be stored in refrigerator or frozen for later use.

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