This quince recipe was contributed by Robyn Kalajian at thearmeniankitchen.com. Like olives, quince is not edible when first picked. Cooked quince, however, has been savored throughout Asia and the Mediterranean region for more than 4,000 years. Quince is native to rocky slopes and woodland margins in Western Asia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, northern Iran to Afghanistan, although it thrives in a variety of climates and can be grown successfully at latitudes as far north as Scotland. California grown quince are harvested in the fall and winter. Armenians have a particular fondness for quince that’s candied, jellied or cooked in stew to lend its sweetness to meat.
As quince cooks, it turns from gold to dusty rose; and eventually glow a vivid, sunset red. “Because of the high pectin in the pulp, the fruit is rarely eaten out-of-hand,” says Barbara Ghazarian, author of the highly praised cookbook Simply Quince, which won the North American Booksellers Best Cookbook award as well as two other national awards. “Slow cooking releases the pectin strands from the cell walls. Once released, the cooked fruit becomes supple and good eating,” Ghazarian adds.
Candied Quince Preserves
2 large ripe quince
Juice of 1/2 lemon