Quince Quest - Quince Custard, Quince Ice Cream
Onto Part III of the great quince fiesta. I hope you are not tired of quinces yet. We still have a way to go.
As I mentioned in my last post, the liquid that you get from poached quinces is not to be sneezed at. Deep ruby red with an intense quince flavour it offers endless possibilities all on its own. This is what I love about quinces. From just a few fruits you can create a whole myriad of delicious desserts.
A recipe that I was really keen to try was Eliza Acton's quince custard,which I found reprinted in Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion. Eliza Acton is an english cookbook writer from the 19th century who set the model for modern cookery writing. I love trying out really old recipes - things that my great great grandmothers may have cooked. There's something kind of nostalgic about it.
I was intrigued by this recipe - just poaching liquid and egg yolks with a bit of lemon to cut the sweetness. It turned out brilliantly. Easy to make and oh so delicious. It doesn't look like much. It's kind of browny pink and pretty plain looking. It is not as thick as traditional custard, but it is lovely and smooth and silky with an intense quince taste. A dash of thin cream will add an extra touch of richness, not that it needs it.
I served it over some thinly sliced, sweet ripe pears. While I didn't try it this time, I think it would be fantstic served as floating islands - with little poached meringue puffs. Yum!! Or served with a steamed sponge pudding. Lovely!!!
Once I tried this custard, it just seemed obvious that it would make a great ice cream. I had to try it. So I mixed in some thickened cream and churned it in my ice cream maker.
Wow!!! The ice cream was incredibly smooth and silky and luxurious. The quince flavour was still intense but I loved it. For a more subtle flavour I suggest adding more cream.
Eliza Acton's Quince Custard
(adapted from Cook's Companion)
300ml of quince poaching syrup
6 egg yolks, beaten
juice 1/2 lemon
Bring syrup to a simmer. Start whisking the egg yolks and slowly add a few tablespoons of the syrup. Keep whisking and slowly add the rest of the syrup. Return the mix to the saucepan and cook gently, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens. Strain into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Allow to cool. Add some cream if you wish.
Quince Ice Cream
1 quantity of quince custard, cold
2 cups of thickened cream
The custard must be cold, preferably refrigerated overnight. Fold the cream into the custard. Churn in an ice cream maker and then freeze.