It produces these lovely quince blossoms in March.
|Quince Blossoms in March, © B. Radisavljevic|
By the middle of April, after the bees have finished pollinating them, the fruit begins to set.
|Quince Fruit in Early Stages of Growth in April, © B. Radisavljevic|
Recently I tried to photograph the quince tree in the fruit setting stage on a windy day. It didn't work very well, so I made a video that doesn't mind the wind. Play in fullscreen for best view. It's short.
The quince ripen in autumn. Do you see the fuzz? You can also see that the green is turning yellow, an indication the fruit is getting ripe. I usually keep the picked fruit on the counter in the house to let it finished ripening before I cook it.
|Quince Fruit in Final Stage of Growth in Autumn, © B. Radisavljevic|
How to Cook and Eat Quince
Although my mother-in-law used to make quince jelly, I'm too lazy to make jelly or jam anymore. If you'd like to make it, here's a recipe for quince jelly. If you'd rather have someone else make it, that's also an option.
I combine my quince with the apples that get ripe at the same time to make a fruit compote. I use an equal number of apples and quince. Then I recruit my husband to peel and core the quince, since it's too tough a job for my arthritic hands anymore. We core, but don't bother to peel, the apples. I then cut them into bite-sized chunks and put them in the slow cooker.
I sprinkle the mixture with lots of cinnamon and enough sugar or agave syrup to reach a level of sweetness I like, and then I add about 1/3 cup water. I let it cook on high covered for an hour and then turn it down to low until it's tender enough for a fork to poke through it easily. I then taste to see if I need to adjust seasonings before either eating right away, putting in the refrigerator for later, or blending it into apple-quince sauce. I prefer it in chunks as a side dish to my morning toast and peanut butter. I also like it before bed with some BelVita Breakfast Biscuits. I enjoy every flavor I've tried. I usually get the Blueberry or Cinnamon Brown Sugar varieties.
|Quince Fruit in Compote Ready to Eat, © B. Radisavljevic|
How do you like to eat quince?
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