Found it! The recipe for Quinces in Orange and Cardamom Syrup

Drink in the incredible fragrance with which a single quince can seduce a room and feast on its pomaded sweetness.  It will, I promise, brighten your northern sky.

(Monty Don, 2004)


Last year I wrote of an “Abundance of Quinces“, lamenting about the recipe that I could no longer find for Quinces in Orange and Cardamom Syrup.

Again this year, the beautiful old quince tree provided us with more quinces than we knew what to do with.

Quinces just picked and ready to take into the kitchen…

So it was now time to get serious and search for the misplaced recipe for one of our favourite quince recipes.  It took me a couple of weeks, going through books, searching on the computer, rifling through draws full to the brim with pages torn from magazines and newspapers, notes, and handwritten recipes gathered over time – oh the frustration!

Finally, my efforts were rewarded.  There it was written on a piece of paper, tucked into the back of one of my much loved recipe books, Maggie’s Table by the beautiful lady, and passionate cook, Maggie Beer.

I don’t know how many times I went back to this book thinking it might have been one of her recipes, checking the index, flicking through the pages, but it was clearly not one of Maggie’s recipes, although, if you have read about, listened to or watched Maggie as she shares her passion for home grown and locally grown produce, this could well have been one of her recipes… The quince, I believe, is her passion, (although some may say it’s verjuice!) and what the business, “Maggie Beer” is built on.

Now with the recipe found, it was time to cook my Quinces Poached in Orange and Cardamom Syrup, and with the amount of quinces we had, some would have to be bottled/canned for use during the year.

I love this recipe, as the finished product can be served with yoghurt and granola for breakfast, with my mum’s baked custard for dessert (this is THE BEST!),

Mum’s Baked Custard with Quinces in Orange and Cardamom Syrup and Double Cream!

or on top of my citrus and almond cake for afternoon tea or supper (I like to add a teaspoon of ground cardamom to the cake batter for this one, and a few cardamom pods to the drizzling syrup), try not to reach for a second piece…

– and I have more thoughts on how to use these beautiful poached fruits…

But for now…

We have a recipe, and here it is….  I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.

Quinces in Orange and Cardamom Syrup
Author: sbaskitchen
  • 500 ml water
  • 250 g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 2 oranges zested and juiced
  • 4 quinces peeled, cored and cut into 2.5 cm / 1 inch thick wedges (see note below)
  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, orange zest, orange juice and water. Place over medium-high heat and stir, until the sugar dissolves.

  2. Add the quinces and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to a very low and simmer and cook until tender, 1 - 1½ hours.

  4. Let the quinces cool in the syrup.

  5. Lift the quinces from the syrup and place into a serving dish.

  6. Strain the syrup over the quinces and discard the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.

  7. Serve cold with baked custard.

I make up the syrup before preparing the fruit.  Quinces brown very quickly when peeled, so you can either place the prepared fruit into a bowl of water with some lemon juice added, or do as I do and have the syrup barely simmering and add the fruit directly into the pot.

You can use these quinces to top my orange syrup cake.  You could add a tsp of cardamom powder to the cake batter when making the cake.


Until next time

Bon appétit





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