Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quince Crumble

They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.
~ "The Owl and the Pussycat," by Edward Lear
Quince is believed to have long preceded the apple, with many ancient references to apples apparently actually references to quince, including the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Greek mythology associates quince with Aphrodite – the goddess of love, and the golden apple given to her by Paris as actually being quince.
Gioconda Scott's Quince Crumble from her show Paradise Kitchen transforms typically tart and hardy quinces into soft, mellow fruit coated in a sweet, crumbly blanket of flour and butter. It is best served warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or thick cream.

Ingredients: 5 Quinces, peeled and chopped into chunks; 4-5 Cloves; 3 cinnamon sticks, snapped; 75 g Sugar

For the crumble topping: 225 g Plain flour; 115 g Butter; 100 g Sugar; a pinch of ground Cinnamon

Method: Place the quince, cloves and cinnamon sticks in a heavy-based saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the quinces. Bring to the boil, then mix in the sugar. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover and increase the heat. Simmer the quince uncovered until the liquid thickens into a syrup, around 15-20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the cooked quince to a buttered ovenproof dish, discarding any cloves and cinnamon sticks. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the quince syrup, again discarding any cloves and cinnamon sticks. Allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. To make the topping, place the flour in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs. Mix in 75 g of sugar. Spread the topping mixture over the cooked quince and smooth down. Mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the crumble. Bake the crumble for 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot.

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