Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Quince - A to Z Challenge

QuinceThe Quince is related to the pear tree and it’s fruit does look very similar. It has been grown for years for the fruit which is used in cooking, but I have just discovered it is also grown for its attractive blossoms. It is native to Southwest AsiQuince_flowersa, Turkey and Iran although it can be grown in northern Scotland. It likes rocky slopes and woodland margins. Once ripe the flesh is very hard and strongly perfumed. I have also just discovered it seems to be the same fruit that is being sold in my neck of the woods as pomelo. The first time I ever heard of a Quince was in the Edward Lear poem, The Owl and the Pussycat.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

 

By Edward Lear 1812–1888 Edward Lear
I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are,
         You are,
         You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"
II
Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
   But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
             His nose,
             His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.
III
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."

So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;   
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
             The moon,
             The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Here is a recipe using Quince or Pomelo. They don’t give a picture but I found one of the Brussels Sprouts and Pomelo. I think you know what a quiche looks like.

Membrillo and Stilton on quiche with roasted Brussels sprouts and pomelo


BBC Food

Make quiche extra special with Stilton and membrillo. Serve with roasted Brussels sprouts and zesty pomelo for a flavourful vegetarian meal.


Serves 6 Roasted Sprouts with Pomelo

Ingredients

For the quiche
For the Brussels sprouts and pomelo

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
  2. Toss the squash in a bowl with the oil, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Spread out on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden-brown, turning once. Set aside to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface, roughly 3mm thick, and transfer it to a 24cm/9½in quiche tin. When lining, leave some pastry hanging over the edge. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  4. Line the tin with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown. Set aside to cool.
  5. Spread the squash over the pastry base, dot the stilton between, and sprinkle the membrillo all over.
  6. Place the eggs, cream and crème fraîche in a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and some black pepper. Whisk together and pour over the squash, leaving some of the filling exposed. Place in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the egg mixture has set. Leave to rest, then remove from the tin and break off the hanging pastry.
  7. Meanwhile for the pomelo, place the sugar, cinnamon and star anise in a small saucepan with 100ml/3½ fl oz of water and bring to a light simmer. Cook for 1 minute, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and set aside to cool.
  8. Peel the thick skin off the pomelo. Segment the fruit, making sure to remove all the white membrane. Break into bite sized pieces and put in a shallow bowl. Pour the sugar syrup over the pomelo and leave to marinate for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the cinnamon and star anise and strain the pomelo reserving the juices.
  9. For the sprouts, increase the oven to 220C/200C Fan/ Gas Mark 7. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the sprouts and shallots and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water and pat dry. When cool, halve the sprouts lengthways and cut the shallots so that they are similar size to the sprouts. Put in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the oil, ½ tablespoon of salt and some black pepper. Spread out on a baking tray and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the sprouts are golden brown but still retain a bite. Set aside to cool.
  10. Just before serving, put the shallots, sprouts, pomelo and coriander in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining olive oil and lemon juice, plus 1 tablespoon of the reserved pomelo marinade juices and ¼ tablespoon of salt. Gently mix, season to taste, you may wish to add another tablespoon of the pomelo marinade.Slice the quiche and serve alongside the Brussels sprouts.
Have a great day
Jo

36 comments:

  1. I've never heard of the fruit or the poem. Both are quite interesting.

    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

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    1. I have never eaten the fruit but I have known that poem since I was a child.

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  2. Hi Jo - Edward Lear .. the quintessential favourite children's poem .. love it .. wonderful to read it again. I've had quince a few times .. but would like to be shown how to cook it .. my brother planted a quince tree - but don't think it does too well! Membrillo sounds a good alternative .. we used to make 'cheese' from the extra fruits around .. damson cheese etc .. and quince is an excellent component which I see for sale in the Autumn .. the recipe sounds an interesting one to make .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I have always loved that poem. Never eaten quince myself but I must look out for it this year.

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  3. Never heard of it. I don't think I've ever seen it in the store, either.

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    1. You have now Alex. I wonder if it is in any stores where you live. I used to have problems finding stuff when I lived there.

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  4. The poem sure is fascinating. But I have never heard of Quince in this side of the world atleast.

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    1. Seem to be something they can grow in the UK. Not sure about here but we do see them in the stores.

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  5. There was quince tree in our village when I was a boy. We didn't like them enough to go scrumping.

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    1. That made me laugh Bob, in his youth I gather Matt was a scrumper par excellence.

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  6. I <3 the Owl and the Pussycat :) I've never tried quince, despite it growing beside my sister's house. I really must tick it off the list one day. Great post!

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    1. Me either Fee. I will have a try this year when I see it in the stores.

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  7. I'm the only one in my house who likes brussels sprouts. Maybe this dish will motivate everyone that brussels sprouts are cool. :)

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    1. It's funny how many people dislike brussels sprouts. I hope it works.

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  8. Love the poem:) I never knew what that was and it probably is sold around here but I never opened my eyes to it

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    1. I didn't recognize the name Pomelo as being Quince.

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  9. I know I've heard of quince but I never knew what it was. If it can be grown in Scotland, I would imagine it would thrive in parts of N. America as well.

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    1. I would think you are right JoJo.

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  10. You can serve quince at a quinceanera!!!

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    1. Jo, a quinceanera is a "latin" celebration for a young girl when she turns 15. We do "Sweet Sixteen" they do a quinceanera. It is a HUGE deal in Texas and very appealing to the eye because of the dresses the girls wear. Here is a link to see what Jay means... http://wondrouspics.com/beautiful-quinceanera-dresses/quinceanera-dresses/ if you google the word, you will see what I mean!

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    2. Thanks Lisa, that was a totally new one on me. I love that dress. Absolutely gorgeous. I guess the ceremony is very like the presentation of debutantes in England (to the monarch) which was only stopped during my lifetime but I don't remember when.

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  11. What a sweet poem about the owl and the pussy cat. Its tone is really quite cheerful and peppy. I'm chuffed our two friends found happiness all because of piggy, lol.

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    1. It's a fun poem and is/was very popular in the UK. I don't know if young people learn it these days or not. Pity if not. I have a suspicion that ring might have been a bit large and I often wondered where they got the runcible spoon from.

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  12. I've never heard of quince until today. I really need to expand my culinary horizons

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    1. Well it may not be widely available in the States.

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  13. I had no idea of any of this! I've heard of quince, but didn't know what it was beyond it being a fruit! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. It would appear that not too many people in the States are aware of it Lisa. I would have thought it would grow in Florida though.

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  14. I was convinced Quiche would be the Queen for a day.. but just like Q from James Bond, you quickly and quirkily changed my mind.

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    1. Quite so you quirky Irishman. At least you would be familiar with the Owl and the Pussycat.

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  15. I absolutely love the owl and the pussycat poem, Jo, and thank you so much for sharing the recipes. :)

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    1. The poem has been one of my favourites for many a long year, since I was a child and I hate to think how long ago that was. I would like to try this recipe but gotta find the quince.

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  16. I remember learning parts of that poem for school years ago :) I don't think I have ever tasted quince though.

    betty

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    1. I think I had to learn all of it, I certainly know it all by heart.

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  17. Quince paste and camembert... yum! I always think of Peter Quince from A Midsummer Night's Dream!

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