Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Birthday Beat

A colleague visited a farm during the school holidays and last week she gave me a packet of quinces with the request that I do something with them and give a portion of the resultant product to her on Thursday this week, in return for the fruit. Working only two days a week, I certainly have more time than she, for playing in the kitchen.

I decided to use the balance of the fruit to create something for the entire staff to eat, as an early contribution for my birthday.

I soaked the fruit in some water and then used an old "orange" bag to rub off the furry coating. I decided to partially cook them while still whole. They are the devil to peel and cut when raw.


Do not overcook. Just pour in about 4 cm of water and then boil/steam until the quinces are partially cooked. Drain and  stand until cool. Now it is really easy to peel over those hard bumpy bits and to cut into the fruit.

Peeled fruit

Cut the fruit into chunks. These quinces were not the neatest specimens I have ever seen and I had to cut out many discolourations and spots. Some of the fruit was thrown straight into the compost because the centres were totally rotten. (Actually, we don't have a compost bin because of the baboons so we put the debris out at night for the porcupine, who, judging by the empty bowl in the morning, thought it was HIS birthday!)

Pour some sugar and water onto the quinces and boil slowly until they turn a slightly pink colour and are soft. Stir gently at first until the sugar is melted. (You could dissolve the sugar in hot water before pouring onto the quinces). For quantities, I used my own judgement but you could weigh the fruit and then use water and sugar quantities as per any stewed apple recipe. I added some raisins just for fun. If you enjoy cloves, add those too.

I set aside a bottle of the stewed fruit for my colleague. I will instruct her to use it up within the next few days because I am not going to do the whole "boiling in a bath of water" routine. 

I used this recipe which a friend shared with me for this occasion. Instead of a full tin of pie apples, I replaced half the quantity of apples with the stewed quinces and raisins. If the pie was for me, I would only use the quince but the flavour is strong and perhaps some might find relief by diluting it with apples.

1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 cup sifted self-raising flour
1 tin of pie apples

Whip eggs and sugar.
Add milk and whip.
Add  melted butter and whip.
Add sifted flour and whip.
Put your whip away.
Pour in a buttered pie dish and then arrange fruit chunks on top.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and a few chopped cloves if desired.

Bake at 180 C for 40/45 min. until done and golden brown.

In a microwave or on the stove, heat a cup of Ideal evaporated milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar has melted. Pour this over the pie and let it rest while the milk soaks in.

Enjoy !

I don't have to wait until tomorrow to taste this. I made a second pie and it has been declared a huge success, especially topped with some Ultra Mel custard! Cream or Vanilla ice-cream would work too.


  1. Your pie looks delicious! I believe in Dutch they call quinces Kweeperen. During our visit to South Africa in 2000, we ate a lot of homemade pie. My mom always used to make marshmallow fridge tart, with chopped Peppermintcrisp on top. I also like the Koeksusters.

    1. In Afrikaans, Kwepers.

      Koeksusters and Peppermint Crisp fridge tart....definitely they are all time SA favourites.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment on my post.