Spiced Quince in Syrup Recipe

This sweet fruit syrup can be used in winter compotes, tarts, pies, or as an accompaniment to other desserts such as ice cream.

From “Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers Markets” (Clarkson Potter, 2008)
Fall 2012

Yield: 1 quart

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This makes a supply of rosy fruit to use in winter compotes, tarts, pies, or as an accompaniment to other desserts such as ice cream. If you add poached quince to dishes that call for apples and pears — apple crisps, pear tarts, etc. — they only make them better.

I have had quince from the tree that weighed as much as a pound, but most of those you find in supermarkets are closer to 4 or 5 ounces — so go by weight, not by size, although this is hardly a recipe where quantities need be exact.

FOR MORE ABOUT QUINCE, SEE: The Disappearance and Revival of Fruiting Quince.


• 2-1/2 pounds ripe, yellow-gold quince
• 2 quarts water
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
• 5 cloves
• 2 wide strips of orange peel


1. Rub the fuzz, if any, off the quince. Using a good sharp knife, cut away the skin in long, clean strokes, just as you would an orange. Remove the center with an apple corer (you may have to make the hole a bit wider than you would for an apple). Slice the quince into wedges about 1/2-inch thick.

2. Put the skins and cores in the water, bring it to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

3. Strain. Return the liquid to the pot and add the sugar, spices and orange. (Stir to dissolve the sugar, then add the fruit.)

4. Place parchment paper or a heavy plate directly over the fruit to keep it submerged. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer until the quince have turned pink and are slightly translucent, 2 to 2-1/2 hours. If the syrup becomes too thick, add more water as needed.

5. When done, store the fruit in its syrup, in the refrigerator. The quince should keep for two months.