Most supermarket produce managers don’t even know what they are, so how am I to find them? Instead of driving around, wasting time and gasoline, I got smart, and started calling nearby markets.
*Publix: the manager insisted I must be referring to persimmons or Asian pears. (I wasn't!)
*Winn-Dixie: had no clue what I was talking about.
*Whole Foods: told me they weren’t in season until December. I asked in October, at the beginning of quince season. For the record: it's December now, and my local Whole Foods still doesn't have quince!
*Fresh Market: said they carried quince, but didn’t know if any were in stock- couldn‘t be bothered to check.
On an outing, Doug and I happened to be passing The Fresh Market (TFM). We stopped in even though I wasn’t sure any quince were in stock - at least I knew the store carried them.
At first glance I didn’t see any, so I asked the pleasant, young produce clerk where I could find quince. She asked me to repeat the question, which I did. She apologized meekly, admitting she didn’t know what a
Oh My Gosh, I thought! I explained that I had phoned earlier, and was told TFM carried them, so could she please ask. While the young lady was gone, I spotted the elusive, exotic fruit. Smiling, I picked one up, caressing it - until I saw the price - $2.99 EACH!
I dug deep into my pockets and bought two beautiful quince - I had to. Where else was I going to find them?
So ,I finally had the quince. My next hurdle was to find a recipe that only used 2. After some serious searching, I located a recipe that came close.
Here it is- with some ingredient adjustments:
Candied Quince Preserves
Juice of ½ lemon
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 small cinnamon stick
1. Peel skin and core. Fruit is very hard so use caution!
2. Cut into ¼ inch slices.
3. Place slices in a heavy pot, covering with water and lemon juice to
prevent quince slices from browning.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain.
5. Return quince to pot, add the sugar, 1 ½ cups water, stick of
cinnamon and salt.
6. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
7. Cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until syrupy, and quince turns a
slightly pinkish color.**
8. Remove pot from heat. Discard cinnamon stick.
9. Store, refrigerated, in a container with tight-fitting lid. This
should keep for up to 2 months.
**For the record, my quince did not turn pink. (See photo) But, it sure tasted great!
Top with plain, unsweetened, thick yogurt, clotted cream -or- creme fraishe
And a cup of piping hot Armenian coffee!