Friday, November 5, 2010
We have a quince tree in the far corner of our front yard. For several years in the fall a sad looking young woman would come by with her boyfriend in an old truck and would shyly ask me if she might gather the ones that had fallen on the ground. I was happy to give them to her. I’ve missed her these past few years and hope all is well with her.
I’ve fooled with these quinces a few times: they are as hard as rocks and difficult to peel and cut. Nonetheless, they are free food on my property. And, as Deb Duchon said in her terrific blog (culinaryhistoriansofatlanta.blogspot.com): there is nothing more locavore then eating stuff found in your yard.
I decided to roast them in the oven. As they cooked they smelled heavenly, a combination of apple and hibiscus. I skinned them, used a spoon to dig away the flesh from the sizable pit, and mashed them up. It was very sour, but promising. I poured several additions of Vermont maple syrup our friend, Woody, had given us, into the mashed fruit. Then added about a tablespoon of fresh grated ginger and a pinch of salt and whizzed it around with the stick blender.
And now I have a wonderful brightly flavored fruit pureé. What shall I do? Make a soufflé? Take this fruit gift as a cosmic message to get busy with a piecrust and make a nice tart? Add it to some mashed turban squash for a more savory dish?
Stay tuned. I think I'm leaning toward a tart.
Next day update: Made a tart. It's wonderful. The filling is simply our eggs, some melted butter the quince purée and I added about a half cup of brown sugar to further sweeten and also round out the flavor. The taste of this is amazing: there are hints of vanilla, a floral leaning and the citrussy snap of the quince. I will be continue my experiments with this interesting fruit.
Posted by Ellen at 2:12 PM