(disclaimer: there are affiliate links included in this post. I also received products free from Kitchen Craft to test out, however no obligation was attached to review or blog about them. All opinions are 100% my own)
Quince is something I’ve never baked with before, or even eaten. But I was in the Asian supermarket near me stocking up on some kefir milk and was having a little browse through their fruit and I saw quince. I vaguely knew what a quince was but wasn’t 100% of the taste or texture. But I thought hey, this kind of looks like an ugly lemon, I’ll buy it and figure out what to do with it later!
That’s actually a pretty good metaphor for how I tackle life actually! I did a bit of research online and it turns out quince needs a bit of preparation before it’s edible, in it’s natural state it’s very hard, woody and astringent, but once you’ve poached it for a bit the sweetness comes out and it has a lovely floral taste. Quince is high in pectin so lends itself well for jam and jelly making, my research actually lead me to discovering that quince is what marmalade was originally made out of!
You do need to take care when prepping the quince because the woody, spongy nature of the fruit makes it quite difficult to cut and you don’t want to lose any fingers! Once it was peeled and sliced and all my fingers were still in tact, I poached it in water and sugar with a cinnamon stick. The internet told me that when it was ripe, it would have an aroma when you hold it up to your nose, so I held it up to my nose and the aroma was similar to that of an apple – so poaching it with cinnamon seemed like a good move! The internet also told me that my quince would turn a vibrant coral pink when it was done, however don’t believe everything the internet tells you! After about 40 minutes of poaching, mine was nice and soft but only had the faintest hints of a pink hue. I decided to use my own judgement and declare it poached. Further research told me the amount of pectin in your quince determines how pink it goes, so I guess mine didn’t have a lot of pectin in it. I drained it, saved the poaching liquid and pureed the quince ready to bake with.
Now I’d coaxed the sweetness and flavour from the quince, I had to decide what to do with it! The wonderful people at Kitchen Craft recently sent me a few of their products to try out, I pretty exclusively use their bakeware anyway since it fits very well in my tight budget but it’s also really well made so when I received the package from them I was very excited! One of the things they sent me this Madeleine Pan I was looking forward to using it. I’d never made madeleines before, so it seemed only fitting that my first time baking with quince should also be my first time baking madeleines. So here we are, quince madeleines! Oh, and in case you were wondering, the madeleine pan definitely lived up to my expectations – it’s very sturdy and heavy (you’d expect it to be light and flimsy at under £10, but nope!) and the non stick works great, the madeleines slipped right out!
It took me a few batches to get the texture right in these, but eventually they came out light, fluffy and so moist. The flavours are great too, pairing the quince with cinnamon was definitely a good plan – the floral flavour of quince and cinnamon both shine through independently, while complimenting each other perfectly. I think what I like best about madeleines is that it looks like a cookie but tastes like a cake – the best of both worlds! We’re getting a little into winter now, but the fall flavours of these will still warm you up nicely. Enjoy them with your afternoon cup of tea, or even with your morning cup of coffee! They’ll definitely brighten up your day and your taste buds!
I hope you’ve all been having a lovely weekend. It’s been getting colder here and I’ve been suffering from some vertigo, so I’ve not been having the best weekend! I am heading to Atlanta in a week though, so it’s not all doom and gloom for this girl! Although, I think it’s colder over in Atlanta at the moment so I’ll have to remember to pack my woolies!
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- 1 large quince
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Peel the quince using a regular vegetable peeler
- Carefully cut the quince in half and into quarters. The quince will be spongy and hard, so be careful and make sure your cutting board is secure. Slice away the core, carefully again!
- Halve the quarters again and cut away any gross looking bits!
- Mix the sugar with 300ml water and pour into a large saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Add the quince and cut a circle of parchment paper just large enough to cover the surface of the pan. This stops too much evaporation but still allows it to reduce into a syrup.
- Bring to a bowl, then reduce to a simmer. Cook at a very low simmer for 45 minutes, until the quince is tender (it may or may not turn a lovely pink colour).
- Drain, saving the liquid for another use. Leave the quince to cool slightly.
- Place the quince in a food processor with the vanilla extract, and blitz until smooth.
- Store puree in the fridge for up 7 days
- Double the recipe as needed
- 100g unsalted butter
- 95g plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 120 caster sugar (super fine granulated sugar)
- 130g quince puree
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Once melted, continue to cook until the butter starts to brown and gets that yummy nutty aroma. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, discard any solids left behind.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a small bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until thick and pale. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.
- Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and gently stir until combined.
- Stir in the quince puree and the melted butter until combined.
- Place the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Grease your madeleine pan with release spray, or butter and flour.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F
- Spoon the chilled batter into the madeleine pan, filling each cavity almost to the top.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until light golden brown on top.
- Leave to cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Re-grease cooled madeleine pan (rinse under cold tap and dry to speed up cooling) and bake remaining batter.
- Madeleines will keep in air tight container for up to 5 days
- You can substitute quince for apple if you can't get your hands on quince
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