Have you ever eaten a quince? The first time I had quince jelly I couldn’t believe how such a peculiar looking hard yellow fruit (like a slightly squashed pear) could yield such a fragrant, delicate, pink jelly. Quinces cannot be eaten raw, they are too tart. But the tannins that cause the tartness in the raw fruit mellow when cooked (and turn the fruit pink). Cooked, a quince transforms into something lovely.

Quinces used to be more popular than they are today; you often can find an odd small quince tree growing in the yard of an old house. But people don’t can as much as they used to and unless you’ve actually had something made with quince, you don’t know what you’re missing. Here are some ideas for what you can make with them:

Simply Recipes

Quince Jelly
Membrillo (quince paste)

Quince Recipes from More Food Blogs

Rosey Poached Quince – Cookbook author and dessert connoisseur David Lebovitz reminds us to be careful when cutting these hard fruit.

Poached Quince with Vanilla and Cinnamon – the The Wednesday Chef.

Quince Jam – from Fethiye of YogurtLand.

Quince with Rosemary and Pine Nut Topping and Quince, Rum and Lime Sauce – Ilva of Lucullian Delights.

Quince and Blueberry Crumble Cake – by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once.

Slow Cooked Whole Quince – Brett of In Praise of Sardines explains why the quince turn so red when they are cooked.

Quince-Raisin Tarte Tatin – from Christine of Christine Cooks.

Quince Tarte Tatin from The Serendipitous Chef.

Sugared Quince Paste – Michelle of an Endless Banquet uses the Chez Panisse fruit cookbook.

Paste of Quinces, or P√Ęte de Coings – Carolyn of 18thC Cuisine pulls out a recipe from 1716 Paris.

Membrillo to pair with Manchego cheese from Nicky of Delicious Days.

Dulce de Membrillo – Melissa of The Traveler’s Lunchbox cooking from “The Basque Table” cookbook by Teresa Barrenechea.

Quince Pomegranate Cranberry Compote – from Viv of Seattle Bon Vivant.

Never miss a recipe!

Subscribe to Simply Recipes free via email:

Showing 4 of 36 Comments

  • Heather

    They can be eaten raw, and commonly are in the South, by grating (with a cheese grater) and soaking in salt water.

  • Ilheu

    The Portuguese used quince jam in their discovery voyages, they call it marmelade, not to confused with American marmelade.

  • Petro

    Here is another idea for using quince raw – Quince Salad – delicious served with any fish dish especially, but goes well as a side dish to other meats as well. First mix 1 cup of lemon juice with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir well until sugar is all dissolved. Keep aside. For 4 servings take 2 – 3 medium sized quinces. Wash and dry, cut any spots away. With skin on and using the course side, grate the quince all around till you reach the core. into a dish with a close fitting top, ie an plastic ice cream container. when done pour the lemon juice mixture over the grated quince, close the lid tightly and shake container well for the lemonjuice to mix well with the grated quince. Place in refrigerator for a couple of hours for flavours to mix and develop until ready to serve.
    Unfortunately it does not keep long before turning brown, but this fresh tasting salad is worth the effort :).

  • mmarcela

    Quinces CAN be eaten raw, I do so all the time (been doing it since I was a kid). I find them delicious and juicy, and they contain very good levels of vitamin C – specially useful in winter times. By eating them raw you get the most of their antioxidants, their astringents compounds protect the colon’s mucous membrane from inflammatory bowl disease, reduce body weight and cholesterol. They are also a good source of fibre, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamins (B-6, thiamine, riboflavin). It has anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

    Not bad for a under-estimated old fruit. Give it a try if you dare.

  • Basil Robbins

    I spent 3 years in France as a child, grades 4 to 6, and quince trees grew in almost every yard. We had 6 trees in our garden. We never used them except for jam. I now live in Michigan and planted a quince tree in my orchard 3 years ago. Had only 2 fruits last year the second year since planting, but this year I got 1/2 bushel of fruits. At the moment I have 8 fruits poaching on the stove. First attempt at recipie other than jam. Anxious to see how they turn out. I did try a slice of raw quince and did not find it it to be overly sour or tart. My tree was called a Russian quince and it was described as having edible raw fruit. Iam also a diabetic and really happy to see Herman’s recipie for pie using Splenda, I am certain one is in my future.

View Responses / View More Comments / Leave a Comment