Cooking with quinces

Quinces are one of my very favourite fruits. They look so familiar, yet unusual. Their shape reminds me of pears, but that waxy, furry skin and striking colour is a giveaway.

I’d love to have a quince tree one day. I did see some for sale at Petersham Nurseries last year, and had to exercise some restraint – it’s just not practical at the moment. So, the second best option is picking some up from my local greengrocers in Wimborne Minster.

I decided to bake them again this year. Unfortunately, someone, who shall remain nameless, in fact threw the baked quinces away before I managed to take a photo of them. I was not impressed.

I’ll leave you with my recipe for spiced baked quinces, which I really rather enjoyed. Photos to come next autumn!

Baked spiced quinces

Serves 6


  • 6 quinces
  • 750ml water
  • 300g sugar
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 cinnamon stick (large)
  • zest of an orange
  • zest of a lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C Fan
  2. I poured the water into a large Le Creuset baking dish and added the sugar and all flavourings. Stir well.
  3. I then peeled the quinces, one at a time, cutting them into quarters and removing the core. As soon as each quarter was prepared, I dropped them into the flavoured water in the dish. I worked as quickly and neatly as I could, as the the quince browns very quickly
  4. I then covered the dish with foil and baked for 3 hours until tender
  5. We enjoyed these baked quinces with some natural yoghurt for a light dessert


  1. What a lovely recipe, I made some membrillo, which was a disaster, but have four quinces left. I’m savouring the scent as they sit in the bowl.
    I’m meeting a friend at The Nurseries on Thursday, so I’ll lookout for the trees!

    • Thank you Jude. What a shame the membrillo didn’t work. I absolutely love it with manchego – we always have it as part of our Christmas cheeseboard, but I cheat and buy it from Neal’s Yard with the cheese…

      Have fun at the Nurseries – you are so lucky to leave nearby Jude! x

  2. This recipe looks great and I love your picture of the bowl of quinces. Much better than I managed to take when I blogged about making membrillo. I planted a quince tree but have harvested 1 quince so far! Ever optimistic though, will come back to this recipe next year.

  3. Afraid I cannot share your love of these most beautiful fruits simply because the smell of them cooking doesn’t agree with me!
    There is a communal tree on our allotment and next year I shall be handing out fruits to Helen and Jude and whoever else would like them. No -one on the allotment seems to want them….. x

    • Oh really Laura. That’s interesting. Smell is the one thing that can really put me off of an ingredient. Lucky for you no-one in the allotment wants the quince, as they can be hard to get hold of! x

  4. Choclette says:

    Unlike Laura, I adore the scent of quinces and I love the taste too. Quince jelly and quince cheese is pretty much as far as I’ve got with them though. Last year we planted a quince tree at my mother’s along with a mulberry and a medlar, so I’m looking forward to reaping the reward in a few years time 😉

  5. Jacobien says:

    Love your site! In Holland we cook with quinces (kweeperen) with core and peel. It’is the pectine in there you need for the membrillo. You probably already have the recipe, however if you are interested I can translate (my poor way) to English.


  1. […] eaten quince jelly several times but I’ve never tried cooking with them myself. These baked spiced quinces from Charlotte’s Kitchen Diary look really simple to prepare and make a delicious, and […]

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