Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quince Quest - Quince Custard, Quince Ice Cream

Onto Part III of the great quince fiesta. I hope you are not tired of quinces yet. We still have a way to go.

As I mentioned in my last post, the liquid that you get from poached quinces is not to be sneezed at. Deep ruby red with an intense quince flavour it offers endless possibilities all on its own. This is what I love about quinces. From just a few fruits you can create a whole myriad of delicious desserts.

A recipe that I was really keen to try was Eliza Acton's quince custard,which I found reprinted in Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion. Eliza Acton is an english cookbook writer from the 19th century who set the model for modern cookery writing. I love trying out really old recipes - things that my great great grandmothers may have cooked. There's something kind of nostalgic about it.

I was intrigued by this recipe - just poaching liquid and egg yolks with a bit of lemon to cut the sweetness. It turned out brilliantly. Easy to make and oh so delicious. It doesn't look like much. It's kind of browny pink and pretty plain looking. It is not as thick as traditional custard, but it is lovely and smooth and silky with an intense quince taste. A dash of thin cream will add an extra touch of richness, not that it needs it.

I served it over some thinly sliced, sweet ripe pears. While I didn't try it this time, I think it would be fantstic served as floating islands - with little poached meringue puffs. Yum!! Or served with a steamed sponge pudding. Lovely!!!

Once I tried this custard, it just seemed obvious that it would make a great ice cream. I had to try it. So I mixed in some thickened cream and churned it in my ice cream maker.

Wow!!! The ice cream was incredibly smooth and silky and luxurious. The quince flavour was still intense but I loved it. For a more subtle flavour I suggest adding more cream.

Eliza Acton's Quince Custard
(adapted from Cook's Companion)

300ml of quince poaching syrup
6 egg yolks, beaten
juice 1/2 lemon
Cream (optional)

Bring syrup to a simmer. Start whisking the egg yolks and slowly add a few tablespoons of the syrup. Keep whisking and slowly add the rest of the syrup. Return the mix to the saucepan and cook gently, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens. Strain into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Allow to cool. Add some cream if you wish.

Quince Ice Cream

1 quantity of quince custard, cold
2 cups of thickened cream

The custard must be cold, preferably refrigerated overnight. Fold the cream into the custard. Churn in an ice cream maker and then freeze.


At 10:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi KJ! I love the idea of quince ice cream :)

At 1:09 am, Blogger Unknown said...

hmmm Ive never even heard of Quinces until now. Looks great and these recipes are amazing. I must try this fruit!

At 6:54 am, Blogger test it comm said...

All of these quince dishes look so good even though I have never had a quince.

At 6:15 pm, Blogger Cottage Smallholder said...

Making the leap from custard to ice cream is a brilliant twist. You are so resourceful KJ.

At 2:34 am, Blogger Deborah said...

I've never even had a quince, and I'm not tired of your quince recipes!

At 7:51 pm, Blogger Kelly-Jane said...

Quince ice cream, I wish I really do :)

At 11:05 pm, Blogger aforkfulofspaghetti said...

How fantastic! Have bookmarked this for later in the year...

At 4:52 pm, Blogger Peabody said...

Fantastic. I love quince so very much.

At 9:37 am, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi KJ. I just finished making the custard and I'm now waiting for it to chill. I made it slightly differently - beat egg yolks and the reduced poached quince liquid, then beat in warmed cream. I then heated this up to make a custard. It tastes divine. Thanks for the idea - I just needed some help with lateral thinking. (I couldn't bear to throw away that delicious poaching liquid.) Justine

At 7:37 pm, Blogger jenny b said...

i too have fallen in love with this fruit. can't get enough recipes. i have discovered that they freeze well whole.

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