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Quince and Cranberry Sauce

Quince and Cranberry Sauce

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Makes about 3 1/2 cups Servings


  • 5 quinces (2 to 2 1/4 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring first 5 ingredients to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until quinces are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Pour mixture into large strainer set over bowl; reserve juices.

  • Return quince mixture to same saucepan; mash with potato masher. Add cranberries; cook over medium heat until most of berries burst, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Stir in salt. Transfer sauce to bowl. Cover and refrigerate sauce and reserved juices separately until cold, about 3 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Before serving, stir enough reserved juices into sauce to thin to desired consistency. Serve sauce cold or at room temperature.

Recipe by Jill Silverman HoughReviews Section

Quince and Cranberry Sauce - Recipes

No Thanksgiving dinner table is complete without cranberry sauce. Cranberries and turkeys are both native to North America, so it's fitting that they have come to represent the holidays not to mention the wonderful pairing they make. Many of us have become accustomed to the cranberry sauce that slides out of a can. It's really not that elegant. Cranberry sauce, compote, or chutney made from scratch is so much more special. For many years now I've been making one or the other. When guests who have only ever eaten canned sauce try my recipe, they swear never to back to canned again.

Fresh cranberries can be found everywhere in supermarkets this time of year. When making a sauce, like this compote, combine the berries with a variety of fresh or dried fruits, which helps to balance their tartness. I've tried all combinations: apples, pears, grapes, dates, and raisins. But the most unique combination I've created is with quince, a pear-like fruit originating from Asia.

Like a cross between an apple and a pear with a light yellow-green skin, the quince is an immensely fragrant and flavorful fruit. Quinces are a bit too astringent to eat raw and instead are used in cooking, baking, and jam-making. Quince can be found individually packaged in supermarkets during the fall and winter seasons. They are definitely worth picking up for this fall-fruit compote.

To prevent browning once cut, the quince, as with apples and pears, should be tossed in lemon or orange juice. For additional flavor, this recipe uses white wine and pomegranate molasses. If preferred, water can be substituted for the wine. Pomegranate syrup, such as grenadine, works well in place of the molasses. Or pomegranate juice can be added in the beginning instead of the wine or water. The compote can be made days in advance and will last for a week or two in the refrigerator.

3 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large quinces
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Combine cranberries, sugar, and wine a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook until cranberries pop and mixture is syrupy, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut quince into cubes. Toss with orange juice and lemon zest.

Add quince mixture, pomegranate molasses, cinnamon, and nutmeg to pan. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until quinces are tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Featured Farm – Sherwood Orchards

Sherwood Orchards is one of my favorite places to pick fruit! The orchard has over 2,000 fruit trees and has been in operation for 150 years. Wowzers! The selection of fruit is impressive and includes sweet and pie cherries, peaches, plums, apples (over 80 varieties!), pears, quince, and persimmons. In the growing season, I often visit once every few weeks for a new type of fruit. September is the perfect time to pick apples. Each tree is marked with the variety and the use: eating, pies, canning, applesauce, and/or apple butter.

Now a few things to note. The orchard is old-school. It’s not really a kid-friendly, have a picnic and browse the gift-shop kind of orchard. It’s a no frills, serious about picking fruit orchard. Since it’s been around for a long time, the ground squirrels have enjoyed burrowing random holes all over the paths. So I don’t recommend taking kids or anyone who has difficulty walking on uneven ground. Check out their website here for information before you go. Like all other farms on my featured farms list, the people who run Sherwood Orchards are incredibly nice. They are very willing to share recipes and tips for choosing which kind of apple you might want to pick. As a bonus, it’s really gorgeous and peaceful.

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Quince Chutney

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3lb quince (Start with 3 pounds, then remove core and seeds, no need to peel)
  • 3 Cloves crushed garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large onion, finely minced
  • 1 Knob (thumb size) fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1/4 Cup candied ginger, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon pepper

Quince Compote, 2 ways

Magic starts to happen as you cook quince. The unremarkable white interior of the fruit turns a beautiful rosy hue. The tannins that make raw quince so bitter and unpalatable break down into smaller compounds and color pigments are released. Even after cooking, if you store your compote in the refrigerator for several days, you'll notice the autumnal color gets richer.

Savory Quince Compote

3-4 quinces (about 1-1/2 lbs), peeled, cored and sliced into about 8 pieces
3 cups water
cup sugar
3/4 cups cider vinegar (or orange blossom or champagne vinegar)
orange zest from 1/2 orange, cut into 3 strips
6-8 whole cloves, poked through the orange zest
7-10 sage leaves
1 bay leaf

Sweet Quince Compote

3-4 quinces (about 1-1/2 lbs), peeled, cored and sliced into about 8 pieces
4 cups of water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
12-15 whole cardamom pods
2 Tbsp rose water

If you are indeed making both compotes simultaneously, combine all the ingredients for the savory compote - except the quince - in one large sauce pan. Separately, combine all the ingredients for the sweet compote - except the quince - in another large sauce pan.* If you choose to make only one compote, follow along with just one pot.

Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add quinces to each. Partially cover the pans with lids.

Continue to simmer until quinces are tender when pierced, about 45 minutes to one hour.

Allow to cool. Remove orange zest, cloves and/or cardamom pods. Spoon into storage containers, pouring any liquid over the top of the fruit. Can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

*Note: Poke cloves through the orange peel for easier retrieval before serving the Savory Quince Compote, and crush the cardamom pods open so you can pull the tough husks out before serving the Sweet Quince Compote.

Quinces start to ripen just as our holiday cooking begins to ramp up. If you are going to have one pot of quince compote simmering on the stove, why not make it two? How about a savory compote to serve in place of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving and a sweet one to enjoy now over a bowl of ice cream.

Cranberry and Clementine Membrillo

Instead of doing things the way they’ve always been done, here are recipes for Thanksgiving 2020 that throw tradition out the window — at least just this once — and show how the classics can be much easier — and more fun — when you focus on highlighting the qualities in each that really matter.

Making this spoonably soft paste is just like making jam, but don’t let that scare you. As long as you follow the instructions, you’ll have great results. But I won’t lie: This mixture does spit and sputter a little, but no more than when you’re making tomato sauce. In any case, be prepared for some splatters and be sure to use a long-handled spatula or wooden spoon to keep your hand far above the action. You’ll need six to 10 orange-like citrus — clementine, minneola, tangerine, Cara Cara, blood orange or navel oranges — depending on the type you use, to get to 1 cup juice.

Place the cranberries and orange juice in a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Once the juice comes to a full rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, undisturbed, until the cranberries burst and are very tender, about 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the cranberries until very smooth. If you have the patience and/or desire, pass the puree through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. You should have about 2 1/4 cups. Rinse the pan clean and reserve.

Meanwhile, prepare a 2- to 3-cup mold or 8-by-4-inch loaf pan: Dip the corner of a folded paper towel or your fingers in some oil, then wipe it all over the inside of the mold or pan so it’s well-greased, focusing especially on any intricate nooks. Place a sheet of plastic wrap in the mold and press it flush against the surface as best you can, letting any excess hang over the edge grease the plastic wrap too.

Return the cranberry puree to the pan, stir in the sugar, lemon juice and salt and place over medium-high heat. Once bubbles cover the surface of the puree, set a timer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally with a long-handled heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to keep the sides of the pan clean and to keep the mixture from burning on the bottom of the pot. After 10 minutes, the puree will appear lava-like and will leave a trail for half a second when you drag your spatula across the bottom. Continue cooking, and after an additional 2 to 3 minutes, the puree will pull away slightly from the side of the pan when you stir it it is now ready. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the citrus zest until evenly incorporated.

Scrape the puree into the prepared pan or mold, smoothing the top. Let stand until completely cooled and set, at least 2 hours or overnight. Use the overhanging plastic to cover the paste once it fully cools.

When ready to serve, peel back the plastic overhang and place a serving plate upside down over the mold. Invert the mold and plate together, allowing the paste to fall onto the plate if it doesn’t right away, tug gently on one corner of the plastic overhang until it does. Remove the mold, and peel away and discard the plastic wrap before serving.

Quince Chutney

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3lb quince (Start with 3 pounds, then remove core and seeds, no need to peel)
  • 3 Cloves crushed garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large onion, finely minced
  • 1 Knob (thumb size) fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1/4 Cup candied ginger, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon pepper

Rosy quince & cranberry jelly

Put the quinces, apples and cranberries in a large pan. Cover with water and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and cook more gently for about 1 hr until the fruit is really soft.

Hang a jelly bag over a large mixing bowl, tip the fruit in and let it drip overnight – don’t be tempted to squeeze the bag, or the pulp will come through and your jelly will be murky.

The next day, measure the amount of juice you have and, for every 1ml of liquid, match with grams of the sugar (so for 500ml you’d need 500g sugar). Tip both into a preserving pan, or large pan, and bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat once the sugar has gone and boil until it reaches 110C on a sugar thermometer.

Skim any scum off the surface of the liquid, then stir in the rosewater. Ladle into sterilised jars (see below left), adding a bay leaf to each one, if you like, and cover with lids – or wax discs, cellophane and elastic bands.


Once your jelly is on the go, heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 4 and wash your jars in hot soapy water. Stand upside down, still wet, on a baking tray and leave in the oven for 10-15 mins, then fill while still warm.

The Three Spoons

Thanksgiving is only two days away! And Open Produce is full of delicious food. This included a few packages of busted cranberries, which means we had almost 4 bags in my fridge, and a decent amount of quinces left. I fought to get those quinces into the store, and now I’m probably the only one who’s bought any. That’s okay! They’re amazing.

So, inspired by the Gourmet recipe for Cranberry, Quince and Pearl Onion Compote, I embarked upon my own cranberry sauce. Usually my dad makes an amazing cranberry sauce, so my task was to make one that was just as good, but different enough so as not to compete when we make them both in the same year.

I never write down or follow recipes, so I’ll just tell you what I did.

I washed a bag of cranberries, and peeled and sliced 2 shallots into small wedges. I was going to use 5 shallots, but they made my eyes water so I thought 5 would be way too strong.

Dice 2 quinces into centimeter-ish sized cubes, peeled and cored – put the cores with seeds aside. Tie those cores in a cheesecloth satchel with one star anise and 4 peppercorns. I wanted to put whole cloves in here, but we don’t have any, so ground cloves just went right into the water. (This may have been an advantage later to making a dark-hued syrup.)

Boil your liquid: mine started with about 1/3 cup of quince syrup that was left over after I finished eating the preserved quinces, some water (about 2 cups? I just used the jar my preserved quinces had been in), and a few generous dashes of ground cloves.

While that was heating, I peeled, cored, and diced 1 bartlett and 1 anjou pear. I would have liked to use firmer pears so they would keep their form, but I salvaged these from the store before leaving because they were destined for la poubelle.

I added the quinces and shallots to the boiling water. (Should have added sugar, too, but I forgot.) Then I added 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. I actually measured this! I’m trying to learn how to use vinegar to bring out sweeter flavors, so I looked at the Gourmet recipe for that addition. I boiled that mixture until the quinces were soft but still holding their shape well, felt like there would still be a bit of a crunch at the middle of each piece. Then I added the cranberries and pears, stirred that up, and half-covered the pot. At this point I remembered the sugar! And I threw in about a cup of it.

After about 7 minutes, when the cranberries were almost all burst and soft, I strained out the fruit from the liquid and put the liquid back into the pot, keeping the heat medium to reduce it to a syrup.

Looking at the pot, I decided it wasn’t red enough, so I pulled out another bag of cranberries and added probably another 1 1/2 cups, along with another 1/4 cup of sugar or so. I added those to the reducing syrupy liquid and boiled it briskly until it made about 2/3 cup. Then I poured this over the strained out fruit, mixed it all together, and could wait only about 5 minutes before tasting!

Yum! It was worth the tantalizing smells of cloves, then onions and fruit, then vinegar, then more fruit, and sugary syrup that filled my kitchen last night. Deanna agrees.

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