One of the earliest known fruits, quince is a relative of the pear and apple. But unlike an apple or pear, you can't simply bite into a quince, which has a tough rind and flesh with a less than pleasant taste. It's golden in colour, but the flesh turns light pink and becomes sweet when cooked. Quince can be made into jam or jelly, or you can bake or poach quince as a dessert.
Select the best quinces
Look over the collection of quinces on sale at the shop or market stall.
Choose one that is firm and yellow. It should be relatively large in size and free of bruises.
Handle the fruit carefully, as quinces bruise easily.
Quince slices with honey and lime
Wash and cut each quince into quarters and peel off the skin.
Use a knife to remove the core with the seeds and any areas that are hard.
Arrange the slices in a baking dish.
Drizzle honey over the slices and squirt lime juice and water on top. Cover with aluminium foil.
Bake for an hour at 150C. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the quince slices are golden. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool.
Wash and halve each quince.
Grate each quince, including the peel, with a cheese grater. Work around the tough core. You should have about 6 cups of grated quince.
Fill a large saucepan with 4.25 cups of water and bring to the boil.
Add the quince, lemon zest and lemon juice. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes or until soft.
Add sugar and bring the mixture to the boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 30 to 50 minutes. Use a ladle to pour the jam into hot, sterile jars. Store in the fridge.4
Do not try to eat fresh quince. It has a very unpleasant and astringent flavour.