What a pain it is when your better half has a completely irrational food aversion. It forces you to avoid certain ingredients or possibly even entire categories of food—food that you yourself might otherwise enjoy—or risk whining, countless complaints, or worse yet, “yuck face”.
Well, my husband hates quinces (and pears too—he says it’s a texture thing), and considering that we planted a quince tree in our backyard a couple of years ago and are now inundated with quinces, that’s a problem. Sharing the harvest with family and friends made a good dent in our quince supply. Now what do I do with the rest? I can think of dozens of tasty things I could make with these quinces, but I have to admit I’m never very motivated to go to the trouble of cooking something just for myself. So I determined to come up with a dish that the hubby would like too. I thought about making a quince crumble with a pecan streusel topping. But then I remembered he doesn’t eat pecans either…
After much brainstorming, a sudden craving for some comfort food, and the need to use up some of the apples from our trip to the orchard, Apple-Quince Sauce seemed like the way to go.
The dual strategy of diffusing the quince flavor with apples and creating a brown butter cookie distraction worked, Hubby approved!
¼ cup sugar
1 cup water
4 Braeburn apples
Quarter and core the quinces. Combine the quinces, sugar, and water in a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about an hour and 15 minutes, or until the quinces turn pink. Quarter and core the apples, add to the pan, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for another 45 minutes, or until the apples are very tender. Remove from the heat and let cool. Puree in a food mill using a fine disc.
Makes about 1 ¼ quarts. Quinces have lots of pectin and turn a rosy color when cooked, so using them in combination with apples makes for a very flavorful thick sauce that’s a pretty shade of pink. Any variety of cooking apple may be used instead of the Braeburns. If you prefer applesauce that’s on the sweet side, feel free to add more sugar. Flavor the sauce with cinnamon, vanilla, or lemon zest if you like. There is no need to peel the fruit because the food mill will remove almost all of the skins. Keeps for several days tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Serve either warm or chilled.