This is a tribute to a Maggie Beer recipe I have tried many times in the past...i think I have simplified her recipe quite a bit due to familiarity and the fact one waits a whole year for the short season quince are available to come again...so by the time I find some quinces I cant always find the recipe, or where i have put the book. It is a stunningly simple but show-stopping dish to bring to the autumn table...quince cooked for 6 hours till they have the dense colour of rubies, or claret even. It can be served sweet or savoury, livening up whatever it accompanies.
In Diana Henry's fabulous cookbook "CRAZY WATER, PICKLED LEMONS" she titles her chapter on figs, quinces, pomegranates and dates "fruits of longing". She writes of the smell of the quince - honey, musk and roses - that is so hard to remember when the season is over. "Happily" she says "they're so perfumed you dont need to do anything complicated with them..."
These photos are from a trip in New Zealand where... tired after a spectacular, but long and mountainous drive... I sat contentedly in the back garden of a cafe under this massive quince tree marvelling at the harvest and wondering how I could get them home to Australia. Instead I made do with photos and a drawing!