These bulbous looking fruits are growing on a tree in a neighbor's yard. Can you guess what they are?! If you guessed that these are quinces, you'd be correct! These fruits are still a week or two away from being ripe, but we're already hard at work sweet talking our neighbor into inviting us over for a jam-making tutorial!
The quince is a strange, almost forgotten fruit. The trees grow well in temperate climates like New England, though you'll rarely see them fresh anymore. Some farmers still have a few trees lurking at the edges of their fields, so keep your eyes peeled at farmer's markets.
We think that it's decline in popularity is at least partly due to the fact that quince are difficult to prepare. They stay hard and are practically inedible even when fully ripe due to a high concentration of tannins. They really need to be cooked to fully unlock their flavor, and make excellent jams, dessert sauces, and pastes.
Here are a few recipes we found around the web:
• Quince Jelly from Simply Recipes
• Quince Paste (Membrillo) from Simply Recipes
• Vanilla Poached Quince (and a few other tips and recipe ideas) from David Lebovitz
• Quince and Currant Chutney from Epicurious
• Quince Sorbet from Epicurious
Have you ever cooked with fresh quince?
Related: Tip: Easy Peeling Quince
(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)