Quinces are only available once a year in autumn, making them a much-anticipated autumn treat. These poached quinces are delicious for breakfast on muesli or porridge, or make a great dessert with cream or ice cream.
3 cups caster sugar (Nut Trek, Shop 55-56, Dairy Hall)
¼ cup honey (Land of Soy and Honey, Shop 10-11, Dairy Hall)
5 cups water
3 cardamom pods (Green Valley Spices, Stalls 36-40, B Shed)
3 pieces fresh ginger, peeled (Garden Organics, Stalls 71-76, I Shed)
1 lemon, zested (Garden Organics, Stalls 71-76, I Shed)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (Pavilion Select Produce, Shop 31-32 Dairy Hall)
2 large quinces (Garden Organics, Stalls 71-76, I Shed)
Combine all the ingredients except the quinces in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Meanwhile, peel, core and quarter the quinces, adding each piece to the boiling poaching syrup as you go (air exposure can turn quinces brown). Add the quinces and cover with a circle of baking paper, then place a plate on top to keep quinces submerged.
Bring the quinces to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer over a low heat for 1-2 hours or until quinces are soft and a lovely rose colour.
Remove quinces, and strain the syrup over a bowl. Discard the spices.
Store quinces in their syrup in the refrigerator.