Slow-baked quince with saffron custard


  • Serves 8 people

  • 8 quince, unpeeled
  • 750 gm caster sugar
  • 3 cinnamon quills, coarsely broken
  • 3 each star anise and cloves
  • 2 vanilla beans, split, seeds scraped
  • 2 white peppercorns
  • To serve: coarsely chopped pistachios
  • Saffron custard
  • 200 ml double cream
  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 40 gm caster sugar
  • 1¼ tsp cornflour
  • Pinch of finely grated nutmeg, or to taste
01   Peel and halve quince, remove cores (reserve skin and cores) and place in acidulated water until required.
02   Combine reserved peel and cores with sugar, spices and 2 litres water in a large saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, cook until ruby-coloured and infused (25-30 minutes), then strain (reserve syrup and solids separately).
03   Preheat oven to 80C or lowest setting. Place quince in a deep roasting pan large enough to fit snugly in a single layer, then cover closely with a layer of muslin or baking paper. Pour over syrup, spread reserved skins and cores over the top, cover with a double layer of foil and roast until tender and rosy in colour (10-12 hours). Remove and discard foil, skin, cores and muslin.
04   For saffron custard, bring cream and saffron to the simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl to combine. Add cream mixture, whisk to combine, then return to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon (2-3 minutes). Strain into a bowl over ice, add nutmeg to taste and whisk occasionally until chilled. Serve with slow-baked quince and a little syrup, scattered with pistachios.
This recipe is from the July 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.







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