It’s winter in Perth and every once in a while you come across some quince at the beginning of the season.
I’ve always liked the look of quince because they are unusual. I find their fragrance and smooth, golden yellow skin attractive. My only issue with them is that they can’t be eaten raw…. but once cooked, you’re rewarded with a deeper flavour and a golden pink colour.
I look at the quince with new found respect…. its tough, bitter skin and bland looking chalky flesh when cut, transforms into something so beautiful when cooked. Being the petroleum engineer for a major gas producing field and mum to an active toddler, I’ve come to realise that the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are either superhuman, rich, or self-employed. They’ve had to develop the tough bitter exterior of the quince but somehow manage to be fragrant and sweet under pressure for their kids…..I call them the “Quince Mums”.
When faced with quince…..Of course, as the “Chief Ice Creamer” at Chez Erebi, I decided to make a quince sorbet. It was the easiest thing I could think of, considering how little time I have these days to mock about in the kitchen.
It turned out truly nice…. the texture, the taste, the fragrance, the crisp but not tart mouth feel…. absolutely gorgeous.
I served it in wine glasses and drizzled a bit of Danish apple brandy. The apple brandy worked well because quince and apples are cousins…. fancy that!
1 kg Quince Flesh (peeled, cored and quartered)
300g Caster Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 tbsp Corn Syrup
Method: Place the chopped quince into a pressure cooker and cook for ~10-15 mins. It should be tender and easily mashed with a ladle. Mix the mashed quince with the sugar and vanilla and corn syrup, and stir to combine. The mixture should be soft and pulpy.
Churn in an ice cream machine.
Alternatively, pour the mixture into a shallow container and place in freezer until frozen at the edges, then remove and beat with an electric beater. Pour back into the container and refreeze. Repeat 2 or 3 times. Serve a scoop of sorbet in each dish, and pour over a tablespoon of Calvados or any other apple brandy.