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Poaching quinces

Poached spiced quinces

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Poached quince can be made into a tart, mixed into a winter salad or be the star of a cheese platter, writes JULIE RAY.


  • 4 quinces
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 2½ cups caster sugar
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 20 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2 fresh bay leaves


Peel the quinces, cut in half and remove the core. Set aside in acidulated water* to stop them discolouring.

Place all the ingredients, except the quinces, and 600ml of water into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the liquid has slightly reduced.

Add the quinces, bring the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the quinces are just tender and turning pink. Be careful not to overcook, otherwise they will go mushy.

Remove the quinces with a slotted spoon and place into sterilised jars. Return the spiced vinegar to the boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until it has reduced a little more.

Pour the hot vinegar with the spices over the quinces and seal the jars straight away.

Store in a cool, dark place and allow to mature for four to eight weeks before eating. Once opened, keep in the fridge for up to three months. The spiced quinces will keep, unopened, for one year in your pantry.

* acidulated water contains a small amount of vinegar, lemon or lime juice


This recipe is from the May/June 2016 issue of Organic Gardener magazine.