Fresh Quince of the Webb lair

My hubby Reggie loves quinces which are at their prime at the moment. But I’m a little scared to cook with them.
Just because you can’t bite straight into them, doesn’t mean that they aren’t fresh and delicious. Quinces are one of the most aromatic, nice smelling fruits. Reg always says that you need to give a quince some time, love, care and attention and the results will be worth it. You can never rush a quince, the beauty of the fruit is that the cooking takes time and the longer it takes to cook a quince, the better your home smells.

Here’s his recipe for Quince and Pear Filo Pie.

Quince and Pear Filo Pie
For the Quinces
10 medium sized quinces
3 cups caster sugar
1 split vanilla bean
3 cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
4  cardamom pods
5 black peppercorns
Zest of one lemon
Water to cover
·         Peel and quarter quinces and place in a pot that can go in the oven (i.e. a casserole dish).
·         Add all other ingredients into the pot and add water to cover.
·         Cook in the oven at a low temperature (100-120 degrees) for as long as possible (approx. 10 hours). You know the quinces are ready when they are a deep ruby colour and are tender to touch. If you have a slow cooker, follow the recipe and cook on low for 8 hours or so.
·         Allow to cool in the syrup.
For the Pears
10 medium sized firm pears
3 cups caster sugar
1 split vanilla bean
Water to cover
·         Peel and quarter the pears and place in a pot. Add all the other ingredients in the pot and add water to cover.
·         Cook on the stove top on medium heat for approx. 15 minutes or until the pear is just soft. Allow to cool in the syrup.
For the Pie
Cooked quinces (cooled)
Cooked pears (cooled)
Filo pastry (bought from the local store)
A couple of big tablespoons of butter (melted)
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
·         Remove cores and dice quinces and pears. Place the two fruits in a bowl leaving as much syrup behind as possible.
·         Brush your favourite pie dish with melted butter.
·         Brush 6 sheets of filo pastry with the melted butter.
·         Layer the filo sheets on top of each other in the pie dish like a + symbol, alternating quarter turns, with the excess pastry hanging over the sides.
·         Once all the 6 sheets are layered, gently press into the sides of the dish.
·         Pour fruit into the well in the centre. Fold the excess filo into the centre of the pie.
·         Brush the top of the now closed pie with a little bit of the melted butter.
·         Cook for approx. 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden and crispy.
Serve with your favourite cream or ice-cream.
Notes:
Quinces and pears can be cooked days in advance and kept in the fridge.
We use a bottomless pie ring sitting on a flat tray lined with baking paper. My wife used a round non-stick cake tin to make hers.

Extra spices can be added to the pears as you like.


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