Quinces were probably the most widely used of fruit by the original colonists of America and were a staple in many households for generations. The flavor is described as a cross between an apple and a pear (much like the Asian Pear) and is the best fruit for making jams and jellies because of its high pectin. In fact, did you know that the word marmalade originally meant quince jam? So enjoy this great treat in lieu of the usual baked apples so often seen during the cold winter months.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 quinces
- 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup apple cider or juice
- 1 cup prepared mincemeat
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Preheat oven to 375°F.
- 2 Spray a baking pan or pie plate with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- 3 Peel each quince and slice about a quarter of the total height of the quinces off from the stem ends, discarding stem ends.
- 4 With a paring knife, create a an inch-deep well from the cut end. Using the smallest teaspoon available, scoop out core and most of the wall of each quince, leaving half an inch wall all around the outside on both top and bottom pieces.
- 5 In a small saucepan, add the cranberries and apple juice.
- 6 Put over medium-high heat with the lid ajar to let steam out but stop the splattering while cooking.
- 7 Boil 2 1/2-3 minutes, or until cranberries have become soft and have popped.
- 8 Remove from heat, stir and let sit for 3 minutes.
- 9 Transfer cranberries into a bowl; discarding liquid.
- 10 Add mincemeat to cranberries, stir to combine.
- 11 In another bowl, combine brown sugar, ginger and cloves; set aside.
- 12 Spray the outside of each quince with cooking spray and roll in brown sugar mixture.
- 13 Place the sugar coated quinces in prepared pan and fill each with the mincemeat/cranberry mixture.
- 14 Sprinkle any remaining brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 40-50 minutes, or nicely browned but still firm to the touch. Remove from oven and onto serving plates.
- 15 Evenly divide the maple syrup over the top of each and serve warm.