Fruit trees

The quince, cultivated for thousands of years and yet little known

The quince, cultivated for thousands of years and yet little known

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You've had enough of the traditional applesauce or the classic strawberry jam. What if you innovate with quince?

From the quince tree, a tree of 4m to 6m, the quince has been cultivated for at least 4000 years. Originally from Iran, its culture developed in the Mediterranean basin in antiquity. The Greeks considered it to be the fruit of Venus. Each bride was to taste a quince before her wedding night. Some historians associate it with apples from the garden of the Hesperides. It was then called "Cydon's apple" or "Cydonian pear", from the name of a region in the north of Crete. Even today, quinces from this region are the most appreciated by connoisseurs. In France, quince is grown in small orchards in the south-east and north-east. Three varieties dominate the stalls of our markets: the Champion, the Giant of Vranja and the quince of Portugal.

Read also: the quince takes care of the intestine

To consume baked, in jam or in jelly

Raw, quince is too astringent to eat. To cook it, you will need to get rid of its skin.

A trick to soften it: immerse the fruit in boiling water for 15 minutes then let cool. The fruit will then peel easily with a peeler.

A squeeze of lemon juice so that it does not darken. Jellies, fruit jellies, cakes or tagines of lamb or poultry, you can make a host of sweet or savory recipes.

The recipe: pan-fried quince and duck breast in the oven.

For 4 people: 2 large or 4 small quinces, ½ lemon, 2 duck breasts, 1 tsp. tablespoon of honey, 20g of butter, salt, pepper, five spices.

Preheat the oven to 220 °. Peel the quinces. Remove the central part. Cut them into thin quarters and lemon them. In a large sauté pan, cook the quince slices in butter. Add honey, spices and mix. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Crisscross the skin of the duck breasts. Season with salt and pepper on both sides and place in a dish. Bake first on the skin for about 8 min. Turn them over and cook for another 8 min. Out of the oven, cut the duck breasts into 1 cm slices and serve with the pan-fried quince.

To discover: all our recipes with quince

Visual credit: © Philippe COLIN / Interfel

Video: Episode 19. Adam Jones (July 2022).


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