A Cook's Plot

Puddings & Desserts

Poached Quinces with Star Anise

My quince tree has been amazingly prolific this year but I picked the first few fruits nervously because last year although there was a good crop, a mystery virus had caused them all to rot inside even though they looked fine from the outside. So far though, they all seem to be fine so I’ve got lots of gorgeous recipes lined up for them. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the fact that a trug-full of them sitting on my kitchen table is perfuming the whole house with a lovely, fresh apple-vanilla scent.

So first, the simplest recipe of all…


Serves 4

  • 8 quinces
  • juice of a lemon
  • small glass white wine
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 star anise
  • drizzle of honey
  • handful of flaked almonds
  • handful of raspberries (optional)


Peel the quinces and slice them, removing the core as you go (the core is quite large in a quince, so the slices will end up fairly small). Put the slices in a saucepan, squeeze over the lemon juice, then add the white wine, sugar, vanilla and star anise and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 10 minutes, then fish out the star anise (if you leave it in too long, the aniseed flavour will be too strong). Continue to simmer gently for about 45 minutes. The quince slices will be tender after about half an hour but, for maximum flavour, wait until they have turned a rosy red colour. Spoon into serving dishes, drizzle with honey and scatter with almonds and raspberries (if using).

They're really lovely served with a spoonful of cream, custard or creme fraiche.

My Latest Recipes