One of the most popular desserts we were served in Turkey was poached quince and often we were also served poached pumpkin â€“ both with cream and sprinkled with walnuts or pistachios. Quince does not taste that good raw but when you poach or bake in syrup it is very special and magically turns a beautiful rosy/peach colour. If you can't find quince, use pumpkin (I used butternut squash) cut into large chunks and poach in the same syrup until tender - about 20 to 30 minutes.
Makes 8 servings
1. Peel and half quince. Remove cores and reserve with peel.
2. Meanwhile bring sugar and water with cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and vanilla bean to a boil in a large saucepan. Cook 3 minutes. Add quince with the peels and cores and bring to a boil.
3. Place a lid, a little smaller than the pot, on quince to hold it under the surface. You can also use a small plate with a weight. Cook gently 30 to 60 minutes until very tender. Let quince cool in the syrup.
4. Remove quince from the syrup. Place the syrup back on the heat and reduce until it is syrupy. Pour syrup over quince.
5. Serve quince with a spoonful of cream, sprinkled with nuts and drizzled with syrup.