Kydonia Psita

Molyvos Baked Quinces in Spiced Sweet Wine Syrup

THE HARD, sour quince becomes a soft and aromatic dessert when baked in sweet wine syrup scented with cinnamon and cloves. In Greece, there are as many ways of flavoring baked quinces as there are cooks. This recipe is the one prepared by Chef Jim Botsacos at Molyvos restaurant. It originates from an old recipe of the Livanos family, the owners of the restaurant.

Serve the quinces on their own or with Drained Yogurt, whipped cream or licorice-flavored Mastic Ice Cream.

Ingredients

  • cups sugar
  • 2 cups sweet white wine, such as Samos or any sweet Muscat
  • 2 cups sweet red wine, such as Commandaria, Mavrodaphne, or sweet Marsala
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 medium quinces, halved crosswise, tossed with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, cores removed and reserved
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the sugar, the wines, water and quince cores. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into a bowl, pressing on the cores to extract all their juices.

Pierce each quince half with a clove and toss with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Arrange the quinces cut side up in a baking dish and add the cinnamon sticks. Pour the wine mixture over the quinces and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cut sides are lightly caramelized.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup sugar over the quinces and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until tender. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the syrup. Refrigerate and serve cold.

,