One of the beauties of growing your own fruit is that you can grow things that you don’t often come across in the supermarket. Quince (Cydonia oblonga) is something that is well worth growing both for its large, delightful pink blossom in the spring and its large yellow fruits in the autumn.
The tree in our orchard was planted in 1995 and did take some years to get going but now fruits reliably year after year. The fruits do seem prone to scab but this only effects the fruits on the surface and does not impact the flesh at all.
At first glance the fruits might seem daunting being hard and solid and difficult to cut through. You will need to feel strong to prepare these! However, peeled and cored and boiled for around an hour in a limited amount of water creates a wonderful, fragrant peach coloured puree that is quite unique. Mash up (technical term!) with a hand blender and add sugar, lemon and cinnamon and you have the most wonderful puree for use in a wide range of desserts.
The following Quince Crumble Tart from BBC Good Food recipe is one we have done many times and always works well. The quinces will fill your house with a beautiful quince perfume.
Tip: We freeze cooked fruit in large muffin trays. When frozen tip them out into a bag, label and pop back in the freezer. You can then take out exactly the amount you need when you need it. One frozen block fits nicely in a ramekin dish, then topped with crumble mix and placed in the oven gives a quick pud.