This is a very popular dessert in Turkey. It is especially recommended following seafood dishes. It takes a couple of hours of slowcooking to reach this beautiful ruby color and tender and soft consistency but it’s definitely worth all the patience. The final product turns out to be tender, sweet and melts in your mouth just like a piece of Turkish delight! Candied quince dessert is best served with a piece of “kaymak” which is a rich dairy, creamy product that can be obtained from the milk of either water buffalos or cows. You can replace “kaymak” with clotted cream or possibly even some rich whipped cream. But if you have the means, you should definitley try having this dessert with “kaymak”.
In all its simplicity, it took me years to learn how to cook this dessert to the level approaching that of perfection. And perfection in candied quince dessert was attained by a beloved family friend, dear Ece who was kind enough to share her know-how with me and humble enough to allow me to share it with you!

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo quince (3 medium sized quince will weigh approximately 1 kilo)
  • 500 gr granulated sugar
  • 50 ml (ca 1/4  cup) water
  • “Kaymak”, pistachios and bitter chocolate (optional)

Step by step method

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  1. Wash, peel, cut into half the quince and core them but keep the seeds.
  2. Cut a small piece from the round part of each quince half so that they stand still when placed on a flat surface. Place the quince halves in a pan and make sure the pieces don’t overlap each other. Now pour the sugar evenly all over and add the water (1/4 cup). Also add 2-3 seeds that will help transform the syrup into a jelly once cooked.
  3. Place pan over medium heat and wait until the sugar starts to dissolve. Once the liquid starts to boil decrease heat to very very low, place lid on pan and leave to slowcook.
  4. The cooking time should be approximately 2 hours over very low heat. You will observe the gradual change in color of the quince (as shown in the picture). Towards the end of the cooking time you can flip the quince halves and leave them to cook upside down for the last half hour or so.

  5. Finally when the quince halves have reached the expected color and have become soft and tender take pan off the heat. Take the quince halves out of the pan with a slotted spoon, taking care not to damage them, and place them on a serving plate or other preferably glass container.  Pour the cooking liquid into a jar or other suitable container with lid and keep for further use.
  6. Wait until the quince have thoroughly cooled down to serve. When ready to serve your dessert, take a few spoonfuls of the jelly into a  small bowl and mix into a smooth sauce consistency by adding a little bit of warm water. Place one quince half on a serving plate, put a piece of “kaymak” on top. Then drizzle some of the jelly sauce and use it to decorate the plate if you wish. Then you can decorate further with chopped pistachios or be bold enough to even add some bitter chocolate shavings. These additions are optional and totally up to your preferences!

Bon Appétit!