Cooking quince and its taste

Here we have to cook quince to make them yield, but that’s not such a trial. The trickiest part is the chopping: you need a good, heavy knife to push through the solid flesh of a quince. After that, it’s all about slow cooking with quince: baking, stewing, poaching. In such cooking their firmness is an asset as the fruit holds its shape and texture. The taste of quince is citrusy, but gentler and without the sharpness of a lime or lemon, so it can be a brightener of other flavours – the fruity component in a tagine, the lemony note in an apple pie – or can stand alone, baked mellow and pink (as the yellow flesh turns on slow cooking) with the spices of the season. Its sharp fruitiness makes it a great companion to meats and cheeses, in the classic Spanish quince cheese paste recipe membrillo or when poached and preserved in vinegar and spices.

Discover more about quince, how to grow quince and the history of quince

Baked quince recipe

This is a simple way to cook quince, which mellows their acidity using spices and honey. A great dish if you have never tried quince.

Don't miss the rest of our quince recipes


  • 3 Quinces
  • A splash of apple juice
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 2tbsp Honey
  • A few drops of rose water
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • A few pieces of star anise


  • STEP 1

    Put the apple juice and lemon into a baking dish with a lid, then wipe or wash the quinces and cut them into quarters lengthways, leaving the skin and cores intact.

  • STEP 2

    Roll the quinces in the liquid to prevent the cut surfaces turning brown, then drizzle over the honey and the rose water and add the spices.

  • STEP 3

    Cover and bake in a low oven (170ºC, gas mark 3) for up to 2½ hours, occasionally removing the lid to baste the fruit with the liquid.

  • STEP 4

    They are ready when most of the liquid has evaporated and the flesh has turned soft and orange with the edges slightly caramelised. Serve warm, with crème fraiche.