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Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
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Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Quince - symbol of love in ancient Greece and Rome

I have had a love affair with quinces since I was introduced to them a few years ago, so I wasn't surprised to read that in Ancient Greece and Rome, the quince was a symbol of love and fertility.

According to -  ABC's Gardening Australia - Quinces originated from Persia, now Iran, and then spread throughout the Mediterranean. (click on the ABC link to read their informative facts sheet and learn more about the quince)

They are a hard fruit which you cannot eat raw, but oh my, the gorgeous aroma of them cooking and their flavour nearly leaves me swooning. Have you tasted them? If you haven't I encourage you to do so.



Quinces seem to be an old-fashioned fruit that you might only see in an old orchard. The quince grows on a small deciduous tree, a member of the apple and pear family. Here you can see a tree and the fruit on the tree.


This tree below is in the Balingup Tree Park was planted in 1982. See how it has had to be propped up? But despite this it seems to be doing well. (please click on the link to read my latest blog about the Park).


I always look for quinces this time of year and I was able to buy some a couple of weekends ago at the Boyanup markets.  I cooked them today in preparation for making a tart tomorrow.  You can just poach them in a saucepan with a little sugar and water, but below here is the simple, yet delicious recipe I used (if you have a little more time for the preparation - or do this the day before making the tart). 


 For about 4-5 quinces - peel, core and quarter the quinces (or thinner slices if large quinces). 

Put in an oven-proof dish, with juice and zest of 2 lemons and 1 orange (although I found that just one lemon was enough)
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks  (1 is enough for this quantity)
1 and a quarter cups of raw sugar
and about 500 mls water, enough to cover the fruit. (quantity dependent on the number and size of the quinces you have).

Cover with a piece of damp baking paper. Bake at 160-170 C for about 2 and a half hours. Turn off oven, and leave them in the oven till cool. The longer you cook the fruit the pinker they become, or sometimes not....


You can just serve them like this with a dollop of cream or icecream or make a pie.  



 Do you remember the poem by Edward Lear - "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat' -
   "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 recipe for the tart I found in "Spice" magazine a few years ago. Everyone loves it. 

Quince and Browned Butter Tart

3 quinces, poached in sugar syrup until cooked and rosy pink
1 x 26cm unbaked tart shell
2 eggs
half cup of sugar
50g flour
125g butter, cooked until golden brown and then cooled. (though I don't really do this - I just melt the butter and simmer for a few minutes)

Drain the quinces and lay them in the tart shell. Beat the eggs and the sugar until light and fluffy, fold in the flour and lastly the browned butter. Put over the quinces and bake in a 1280C oven until golden brown and set - about forty minutes. 

Serve at room temperature with a dollop of cream. 
You could also make this recipe with other fruits ie apples, pears, peaches, apricots.

This is my tart photo from a couple of years ago. As you can see the fruit is quite red-pink colour. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, but however it looks it still tastes and smells divine! 



 I seem to blog about quinces every couple of years, so you might also like:
And slices of quince which they ate with a runcible spoon
Autumn arrives in Western Australia

Thank you so much for stopping by. Have you ever tried quinces? Do you have a favourite quince recipe? Perhaps you'd like to share in the comments. 
 I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

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21 comments:

  1. I was just thinking 'someone else has written about this fruit' but I bet it was you and once again you have me thinking that I must go find some and try them out. Yummy sounding and looking creation you've tempted me with!

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  2. We had a quince tree at my childhood home in Bendigo, Victoria. I remember my Mum making quince jelly with the quinces off the tree and I can't really recollect whether she stewed them or not. I never realised that they could be used in a tart. Thanks for the recipe.

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  3. Oh we love quince jam and your home made tart looks scrummy. When are you going to write/produce your own cookery book, Jill? We had a quince and kumquat tree in South Africa and our naughty cocker spaniel used to eat the fallen decayed fruit and one day we found he was drunk! Took him to the vet thinking he was terribly ill, but she said he was just drunk!

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    1. oh goodness - I know that elephants get drunk on amarula fruit. :)

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  4. Oh I can smell the quince as I look at your images. I remember the first time I ever had quince, when a friend in Tassie produced them for dessert. They had been baked to ruby red perfection and simply served with thick cream. Perfection in a bowl. Buggers to prep though!

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  5. I don't know this fruit at all, so interesting!

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  6. I had heard the name a long time ago, but had no idea what they were or how you would fix. Thanks for sharing. Might have to try some just for the aroma you mention vs actually making something with them. :)

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

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    1. just simply stew and eat with a dollop of cream!

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  7. I have to say that I've never tasted one! I will have to look out for them to try.

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  8. not sure I've ever heard of this...certainly have never had it. Looks good though.

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  9. Would you believe I've never cooked with quinces? This tart looks yummo. #TeamLovinLife

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  10. I often hear about quinces but it's always from people who have their own quince trees. I don't think I have ever seen one in the supermarket. Or am I just not looking?

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    1. I think you would be more likely to find them in a grower's market

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  11. Quinces remind me of the poem "The Owl and the Pussycat", which we learnt to recite for an eisteddford in primary school (it's hard to forget things that are drummed into you!). I've never tried one, but your photos make them look delicious Jill :) #TeamLovinLife

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  12. Jill, The quinces certainly look pear apples combination. The recipe is appreciated. Have a great week.

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  13. There are two quince trees in our neighbourhood and each autumn I think I'm going to ask the owners if I can purchase a bag full of quince, but I haven't yet. Perhaps this will be the year. The fruit, even on the trees, smells wonderful. Your poached quince would be the perfect recipe to begin with.

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  14. What a "yummy" post! Thanks for all the information about quince and the recipe. Happy Monday!

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  15. We actually inherited an ornamental quince bush when we moved to Normandy, it flowers quite profusely but only ever produces two or three small, hard fruits nowhere near enough to make your delicious sounding tart with. I shall look out for Quine at the local markets when we get home and let you know if I manage to make anything with them.
    Happy Mosaic Monday from hot and humid Florida.

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  16. Thanks for the tip to look for quince in the farmer's markets - there are several in our area at this time of year - and I am always interested in trying a new fruit!

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