Home » Quince: properties and 6 recipes to try

Quince: properties and 6 recipes to try

by Ada Parisi
5 min read
Mele cotogne: proprietà e 6 ricette da provare

Today I leave you 6 recipes to try quinces and of course I'll tell you all properties and characteristics whose very good fruit and unjustly little used. October is the perfect month to rediscover this fruit and experience it in the kitchen in sweet and savory recipes. When I was little I waited for October to feel at home the sweet scent of quince destined to become jam, gelatin and quince. Apples (or pears) quinces are an ancient fruit, in a sense forgotten, because they are quite tiring to treat. You can't eat them raw and are hard to cut and clean. But, Once cooked, quinces reveal an unparalleled taste and scent, due to the many essential oils contained in this wonderful fruit.

Baked quince with English cream


The most popular recipe based on quince is definitely the COTOGNATA-: only 3 ingredients, quinces, sugar and lemon juice, and long cooking lead to a kind of thick jelly of fruit pulp. If you want to realize it find the VIDEO RECIPE on my YouTube channel. You can eat it after a few days, still soft, or let it dry for about a long time. Famous cotognata leccese and that of the Aeolian Islands, so 'seasoned’ to be more like a candy.

For who, instead, prefers creamy and spreadable jams, here is the recipe of the QUINCE APPLE JAM, that contains a little’ less sugar than quince and can be stored for up to a year.

In Sicily it is also a tradition to eat quinces simply cooked in water, sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and Marsala: starting from this recipe I have reworked a SPICY SOUP OF QUINCES, to be served lukewarm, with pomegranate grains, spices and dried fruit. Finally, quinces also become part of more complex sweets, as the TART WITH QUINCES AND CHOCOLATE.

Simple to do but elegant, the BAKED QUINCE WITH ENGLISH CREAM I am a refined and surprising dessert, with an intense and truly fragrant taste. English cream is gluten-free, like the rest of the dessert, and it is a perfect dessert to end a challenging meal with gluttony and lightness.

But quinces are also perfect to accompany savory dishes, especially based on pork. On the other hand, the apple-pork combination is now known to all. Then, why not try the PORK LOIN WITH QUINCE, flavorful, with that taste between the sweet and the sour typical of quinces, flavored with orange juice and rosemary?

Quince jam

Quince, a fruit not to be forgotten: sources and properties

Quitgne is the result of quit (Cydonia oblonga), a hybrid between apple and pear tree belonging to the same family as apples and pears (the Rosaceae), probably native to Asia Minor and the Caucasian area. It is a tree that grows only in areas with a warm climate, and that's why it's like that widespread in Southern Italy. Quince was already known and appreciated by Greeks and Romans especially for its essential oils, widely used in perfumery. Depending on whether it is an apple or a quince pear, the fruits have a more rounded shape in the first case and more elongated in the second.

Thanks to its very high pectin content, quince has always been used in the culinary tradition of southern Italy to prepare jellies, jams, quince and as a natural thickener in all types of fruit jam. Tradition has it that you put a few pieces of quince in jams, because the pectin contained in it facilitates the thickening of jams. On the other hand, the word 'jam’ (marmelada) is of Portuguese origin and, in Portugal, “marmelo” indicates the quince.

Soup spiced quince

Calories and nutritional properties of quinces

According to the tables of the Create one hundred grams of quince have about 38 calories and contain 84,3 grams of water, 6,3 carbs and 5,9 grams of fiber between soluable and insoluble. Quinces are a good source of potassium (200 milligrams per 100 grams of product), but also vitamin C and copper. The large amount of fiber contained in quinces helps intestinal transit and promotes digestion. Quinces have anti-inflammatory properties of the gastrointestinal tract thanks to the astringent power due to the high content in tannins, pectin and malic acid. Cooked, they also have important lassative properties.

Because the sugars contained in quinces are mostly fructose, I'm also a fruit with a low glycemic index and, thanks to pectin, help keep blood sugar and cholesterol in check.



How to choose and store quinces

Ripe quinces are characterized by yellow skin. When the fruit is still green it is instead unripe and covered with a fluff that tends to decrease with ripening. To remember, though, that quinces do not ripen on the plant but once harvested. Therefore, if you buy green fruits, it is sufficient to let them ripen for a few days at a temperature between 15 and 19 degrees, until they acquire a golden yellow color. Try to buy fruits without dark spots. The pulp of the quince is white, but tends to blacken quickly when cut: to avoid oxidation, it is good to sprinkle it with lemon juice. With heat the pulp (which remains firm even after baking) from white to pinkish.

Pork loin with quince

Quince, when stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator, keeps fresh for weeks. It can also be frozen: the best solution is to boil the fruit, add the sugar and freeze the sweetened puree directly. Better not to freeze, instead, raw quinces because in the freezer they will tend to blacken.

Quince it is not eaten raw because the pulp, dry and rich in pectin has a sour and tannic taste. Cotta is widely used not only for the preparation of desserts. But also in combination with savory dishes, especially in Central Europe and North Africa. For example as a side dish of meat dishes, a bit like what happens in Italy for the combination of apples and pork.


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