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The quandary about Quince

Posted by Sue Heward on

Loads of people have asked me for recipes to use with the sun-dried quince. My most common response is that its a perfect companion with cheese on a platter. This is certainly the season. I especially like it with a hard goat's cheese (Barossa Cheese LaDame is my total favourite).

However I have gone all out and included three recipes below for you to try, enjoy and please give me feedback.

My take on the wonderful Ottolenghi's rugelach pastries filled with quince and pecans
I am a total fan of Yotam Ottolenghi and his latest book with Helen Goh, Sweet, is just out of this world. Every page is like another surprise of things I want to make. In this recipe I fully admit I have taken the totally easiest route. I haven’t made the pastry, if you want to do this then by all means I totally recommend his book, but instead I used Carême Pastry. It’s made in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, all butter and ready rolled, what more could you ask for.

1 pkt (375g) Carême puff pastry
100g pecans
200g soft light brown sugar (I used dark brown in the picture and you can see they went a bit dark)
1 tspn cinnamon
200g sun-dried quince diced into small pieces
2 tsp lemon juice
For the glaze
2 large eggs, beaten
raw or demeara sugar to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 180/160 (fan) degrees Celsius. Take the pastry out of the freezer and let it defrost before using.

Start with the filling first. Lightly toast the pecans in the oven on a tray, only for a few minutes otherwise they will burn. Once they are cool chop them finely and mix with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Increase the oven temp to 220/200 (fan) degrees Celsius.

In a microwavable bowl mix the diced quince and lemon juice, then heat the mix either in the microwave just quickly (10-20 secs) or over low heat. Let this cool again before using.

Unfold the pastry on the work surface, dust pastry and work surface with flour. Cut the sheet of pastry in half. Take each half and roll it out to roughly 32cm x 24cm. Cut each rolled piece in half lengthways, so you end up with four long rectangles.

With the first rectangle use a quarter of the quince and spread evenly (as possible) over the surface and then sprinkle with a quarter of the sugar mix. Repeat for the other three rectangles.

Using a sharp knife working down the longer edge of each rectangle, cut each rectangle into six triangles – you can use the scraps from the side to make an extra triangle by sticking the straight sides together. Now I have taken these instructions straight from Carême as they are the total experts in this. The thing is I should have read the instructions properly before I did my last batch (pictured), nowhere near as perfect as what yours will be.

Then one at a time roll up each wedge, tightly starting from the wide edge and rolling into the point of each triangle. Repeat for all your wedges. Place them on a lined baking tray with the seam down so they don’t unravel. Lightly brush each of the rugelachs with the egg wash and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, until they are golden brown all over. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 24

A Summer salad of faro, goats chèvre & quince 

Farro is a type of wheat, it looks quite a bit like a more oblong and larger barley grain and has a similar taste and texture. Like barley, farro is still a bit chewy when cooked, rather than soft and mushy. I love using it in salads. If you don’t have farro then you can replace with freekeh, barley, quinoa, couscous or a gluten free option is with lentils.

1 ½ cup farro, pre-soaked overnight (if you have remembered but it's not essential)
4 cups of water or stock
Pinch of salt
A couple of handfuls of rinsed salad leaves (it could be a mesclun mix, spinach whatever you have)
½ capsicum diced
½ medium zucchini sliced thinly
50g sun-dried quince diced finely
50g goats cheese chèvre (I love Woodside Cheese Lemon myrtle chèvre for this recipe)

For the dressing
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I used Toolunka Creek Olives new season oil, my goodness if you can get a fresh oil it makes all the difference)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon

Measure the farro into a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain.

Transfer to a medium sized pot that has a lid. Add 4 cups water or stock and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, until it is softened but still chewy. Put the cooked farro in a sieve and rinse through with cold water and then use a fork to fluff it up.

For the dressing whisk together all ingredients and set aside.

When the farro is completely cool put it in your salad bowl. Depending on how much you want to make you might not use it all at once. Mix through the salad leaves, capsicum, zucchini, quince with salad servers. Break up the goats cheese in your hands and sprinkle over the salad. About 10 minutes before serving dress your salad. Perfect for a summer BBQ, a quick mid-week meal or with roast meat.

Serves 6

Barmera Poppa’s scones with quince
So my Barmera Poppa, Jeff Stoeckel, was a baker and pastry chef. He worked at our family’s cafe, the Bonney Cafe, for some 50 years baking all kind of goodness - cakes, pastries, pies, pasties and scones. Always square scones, I remember this distinctly but I don’t know why. I didn’t think to ask it was just the norm. Poppa’s baking job would start at 2am and go to about 9 then he would deliver ice-cream all over the Riverland. He didn’t right down many recipes, they were often just stored in his head but luckily my Aunty Val captured this scone one. These are super simple, you can make them savoury by adding diced ham and grated cheese or as I have done slightly sweet with diced sun-dried quince.

4 cups of fresh SR flour sifted
1 large egg beaten in with 1 cup of milk
1 ½ cups of cream
Pinch of salt

To make my fruity version I used 2 tablespoons of dried quince 

Turn your oven onto 180 degrees Celsius.

Beat the egg in the milk them mix the cream, through until all blended together. Then add the flour and salt, stirring as you go to the cream mix. You don’t want to over mix but also don’t want lumps of flour either. At this point add in your diced quince.

Mix together until you have a slightly sticky dough, turn on a floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin but not too thin (keep the dough at least 1 cm thick).

Poppa would make square scones by cutting them by hand. I made some yesterday but Frankie was desperate to use a glass to cut them all so we had round ones. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are a lovely light brown in colour. I keep them in a bowl wrapped in a tea towel. They rarely last long.

The recipes makes about 16 scones

Would love to what are your favourite quince recipes. And if you need some help with your Christmas shopping hope you love our new Gift box.

COOKING AND GARDENING easy farro OUR PRODUCE pastries platter quince RECIPES salad scones

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  • Brigitte, I’d love to hear how you go with the recipes and any new one you come across.
    Jenni, I usually stock up when I can find a stockist but I do know that Flavours of the Riverland in Barmera did stock Careme (I havent been in for awhile now though).
    Amanda- ooh thankyou so much I have corrected that now.

    Sue Heward on
  • Oops – looks like you forgot to add the quince to the list of ingredients in the delicious scone recipe!

    Amanda on
  • Can you tell me if you can buy the Careme pastry anywhere in the Riverland? I’ve seen other recipes using this and haven’t been able to find. Thank you

    Jenni Thiel on
  • I chopped up some Smyrna quince and cooked it in my morning porridge. It was so delicious! Secretly I have just been snacking on them too – very moorish. Can’t wait to try some of the recipes you’ve featured.

    Brigitte Kimber on

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