You will need to begin this recipe four days ahead.
Peel the quince and leave uncovered to dry overnight in the refrigerator. Cut into quarters and remove the core. Put the red wine, port, spices, bay leaf, vanilla bean, orange peel, vinegar and caster sugar in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add the quince, cover and marinate for 2 days in the refrigerator. Seal the mixture in a sous-vide bag and cook in a waterbath at 75°C (165°F) for 12–16 hours. Strain, reserving the quince and the liquid in separate containers.
Make the Earl Grey ice cream by putting the milk, cream and tea leaves in a saucepan and gently warming over low heat to allow the flavours to infuse. Remove, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight to steep. Strain into a clean saucepan and warm over low heat. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and creamy, then slowly add to the milk mixture in the saucepan, stirring constantly. Cook until it reaches the consistency of custard and coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly so it doesn’t catch. Strain into a large bowl and place over an ice bath to chill. Churn in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions and freeze overnight.
To make the orange gel, combine the juice and agar-agar in a saucepan over low to medium heat and slowly bring to the boil. Pour the liquid into a tray and leave to set. When it has hardened, cut it into rough pieces. Put the pieces in a blender and blend until a purée forms, adding a tablespoon of orange juice to loosen if needed.
To serve, warm the quince quarters in the poaching liquid in a saucepan over low heat. Cut each quarter of quince into 3 pieces. Arrange pieces of quince on a serving plate and scatter generously with the pain d’épices crumb. Pipe dots of orange gel purée beside the quince pieces. Add 3 pieces of broken mandarin and a scoop of Earl Grey ice cream. Scatter with sprigs of sorrel cress. Serve with a small jug of the poaching liquid on the side.
© 2014 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.