Recipe: Maggie Beer’s Pot Roasted Quinces

Enjoy these ruby-red beauties as a dessert or put them on breakfast cereal.

Words: Angela Clifford

The change in colour when you cook quinces, from pale cream to ruby red, is almost magical, and the aroma is amazing. You can slice and eat these as a dessert or put them on breakfast cereal. They also freeze beautifully.


6 quinces (or as many as you can fit into a pot)
4 cups (880g) sugar
1.5 litres water
juice of 3 decent-sized lemons


If the quinces have fluff on the skins, rub it off and give them a wash.

Pack the whole quinces tightly in a heavy-based saucepan. Mix the sugar and 1.5 litres of water and pour it over the fruit. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for up to five hours – it’s the lowest temperature on our stove. Turn now and again to ensure they turn ruby-red all the way through.

Add the lemon juice at the end. We strain off some of the cooking juice to use as a cordial – you may need to add more lemon juice if it’s too sweet.


• We use quinces for different purposes as they ripen through the season. When they’re slightly under- ripe and high in pectin, they’re wonderful for making jelly. Just as they ripen, we make paste. The last ones end up in this recipe.
• We add raw quince to savoury tagine dishes – our favourite is with lamb. They soften as they cook but don’t have time to turn ruby red – you still get their wonderful scent, without any sweetness.
• If you’re fully stocked with quince paste, Maggie Beer also taught us another way to use up the paste and turn it into a sweet, sort of like Turkish delight. Cut the paste into cubes. Either dust it in cinnamon and icing sugar or roll it into balls and dip it in chocolate for an incredible petit four.

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