Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quince Fruit from Blossom to Table

Quince is a fruit resembling an apple in shape. It can be used like apples in recipes, though they need more sweetening. Unlike apples, the fruits are fuzzy and hard to prepare for eating. I probably never would have planted a quince tree, and, ironically, it has survived better than most of the trees we wanted enough to plant. It had been planted in our orchard by the a previous owner of our Templeton property. I have learned to eat it and in this post will show you photos of quince fruit from blossom to table. 

It produces these lovely quince blossoms in March.

Quince Fruit from Blossom to Table
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 from Blossom to Table
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 from Blossom to Table
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 from Blossom to Table
Quince Fruit in Compote Ready to Eat,  © B. Radisavljevic

How do you like to eat quince? 

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Quince Fruit from Blossom to Table

This is my seventeenth post for the 2016 AtoZchallenge, a Blogging Challenge for the month of April, 2016. My theme is plants, since this is a gardening blog. Here are links to the other posts if you missed them.

A is for Apple Blossoms
B is for Bottlebrush
C is for Carnations
D is for Daisy
E is for Elderberry
F is for Flowers
G is for Gazania
Hollyhocks are Edible
Irises Are Garden Survivors
Jupiter's Beard: A Mystery Finally Solved
Kale for Lunch
Lion's Tail - A Perennial Summer Burst of Orange
Miner's Lettuce is Tasty and Free"Naked Ladies" Bloom in August
Oleander through the Year


Cynthia Sylvestermouse said...

Wow! I totally just learned something new! Actually, I learned several new things. I have never even heard of a quince before. I asked my own husband and he hasn't either. What a great tree too! Pretty little blossoms and a will to survive. Very impressive.

Susan Deppner said...

So now I know. My husband talks about quince often. Now I know what he's talking about, and now I want to try it. I'm wondering if it grows around here...

Barbara Radisavljevic said...

Cynthia, I had never heard of quince until we inherited that tree. It's definitely a survivor.

Barbara Radisavljevic said...

Susan, Quince grows in all zones in full sun and needs little water once established. It doesn't like wet feet. Try it.

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