Baked Quinces with Brown Sugar, Cinnamon & Walnuts

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This is more or less the way Ketty makes her quinces. She is a special cook and has a wonderful restaurant in Plaka, Athens, called Café Avissinia. You could serve these with pistachio or vanilla ice cream or a dollop of thick cream or crème fraiche.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 4 tablespoons good brandy
  • 4 quinces
  • 3 tablespoons shelled walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 100 g ( oz) brown sugar
  • 40 g ( oz) butter, diced

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Put the raisins in a small bowl with the brandy and leave to soak for a bit.

Cut the quinces in half, leaving their skins on, and core them, making a nice nest where the core was. Put them in an ovenproof dish where they will fit compactly in a single layer. Spoon the raisins evenly into the nests and then drizzle the brandy over the top. Spoon the walnuts, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter into the nests. Pour 250 ml (1 cup) water into the dish and then cover with aluminium foil. Bake for about 2 hours, adding another 250 ml (1 cup) of hot water halfway through the cooking time and scraping up any bits of sugar or nuts that may be stuck to the edge of the dish. If it appears to need more water, add a little.

After about 2 hours the quinces should be really soft, but not collapsing, and beautifully golden with some thickened sauce. Serve warm, drizzled with some sauce.