Wednesday, 21 October 2009


My friends Franck and Lise came for dinner last week - I've either been cooking dinner or eating out every night so I've had no time to blog - with this bag full of goodies from their garden in Champagne. There were fresh walnuts and, individually wrapped in newspaper, my favourite - quinces.

They were beautiful, leaves still attached and now the whole apartment is filled with the wonderful aroma of quince, a mixture of vanilla, musk, lemon blossom and pineapple. I had been waiting for these quinces since last spring.

So when Franck sent me this photo of their quince tree covered in blossom, I could hardly wait for autumn.

Then, just before I left for Paris, this photo arrived. So my dinner invitation had an ulterior motive, I was hoping they might bring me a few quinces.
Well part of my edible potpourri was soon converted into dessert and served with crème fraîche.

These are the first quinces I've followed from blossom to fruit so they are extra special.
The tree photos are by my friend Franck check out his talent here.
He is also a creative cook, I made his beef cheek salad. I am off to Edmonton so I tell you all about the beef cheeks and Edmonton next week. In the meantime check out some quinces recipes here.


Anonymous said...

Why DO they turn pink when you cook them? And why don't squirrels want them? (You can tell I have a one-track, easily fixated mind.It's worsened by envy. So you can count on hearing more about squirrels until you are back in Toronto.)


Jennifer said...

Not sure exactly why they turn pink. I guess it is a chemical reaction. You need to cook green ones - if they are yellow they will explode before they change colour.
To make you feel better - it is raining here. Off to Regalade tonight - the restaurant I ran out of before dessert. We'll eat some small birds for you.

Jennifer Cockrall-King said...

Hi Jennifer. I'm Anne-Catherine and Lise's friend, a fellow food writer, and your local guide / driver when you are here in Edmonton. Thanks for posting those photos of Lise and Franck's tree. She mentioned to me in her email that her tree was loaded this year. Lovely. Can't wait to meet you in person. (Another) Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Got any advice on how to tell when a quince is ripe? We have a tree I planted a few years back that is now producing a few tens of pounds of fruite a year, but I'm not sure just when to harvest them.

Jennifer said...

If I had a quince tree I'd pick my quinces when they were still green. Quinces ripen off the tree and will slowly turn yellow. Green quinces are better for poaching because they take longer to cook and will turn pink. Ripe yellow quinces are often tender before they have time to change colour. Place a bowl green quinces in your home, as they change colour and ripen they will fill the room with a wonderful scent.
You can store quinces in a cool spot and keep them for up to a month or longer.

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