Two Quince, a Recipe Swap


I had a whole post written about what I’ve been up to in the past month and offering excuses for why I haven’t been blogging. That post is filed away for next time and this month’s Recipe Swap is taking precedent!

For more than a year, Christianna at Burwell General Store has been sharing vintage recipes with a growing number of talented bloggers. I joined the group a few months ago and look forward to every swap as a new opportunity to really let my creativity loose on a recipe. We all have to come up with something closely or very loosely based on the original recipe. The results are always quite different!


This was the first recipe I didn’t fall in love with at first sight. Zabaglione is not the kind of dessert I would ever order in a restaurant or make myself at home. I guess I have simpler taste in sweets and don’t normally go for boozy food.

It was clear that this swap would take some thought. Unfortunately, I had A LOT going on, as you will read in a future post. My brain just wasn’t on blogging. I bought marsala wine. I bought eggs. Hey, maybe I’d just make zabaglione! I did lots of research. Everyone loves food research.Then, this evening, I made quince preserves.

Quince preserves? Yes. The odd and new-to-me fruit that I picked up in a little market on Mission was calling my name, begging me to simmer it with wine and sugar. I read that quince are like a cross between a pear and an apple but cannot be eaten raw. Many poached quince recipes popped up in my google searches and one of my cookbooks has a recipe for quince preserves.


Fruit put my mind at ease. The marsala addition was my adventuresome throw-back to the zabaglione recipe. One a busy winter night, just back from some weekend traveling, I made two jars of preserves. Could we consider that a reference to the “…for two” part of the original swap recipe?

While I did not do a very good job with this dish from a preserving perspective and I don’t necessarily recommend that you can the mixture this recipe makes, I do recommend that you cook some quince in marsala wine. This recipe would make an excellent compote for ice cream, cake, or even granola+yogurt. It didn’t quite make enough liquid to fill my jars and I didn’t chop the quince finely enough to make spreadable preserves but the result is ridiculously good. I don’t even like wine and the flavors of the marsala and the fruit are so happy together that I have to pat myself on the back for this one.

Really, these are the people with the awesome food.




Marsala Quince Compote

2 ripe quince, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 cup dry marsala wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Combine wine, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Stir to dissolve sugar.
Bring liquids to a boil.
Add chopped quince and return mixture to a boil.
Cook on high for 15-20 minutes, or until fruit is soft and partly transparent and the liquid does not immediately flow back together when you drag a spoon across the bottom of the pan.
Pour compote into glass storage or serving dish (heat up the dish in a warm oven first).
Allow the mixture to cool and then cover and refrigerate or use immediately.


Filed under condiments, desserts

18 Responses to Two Quince, a Recipe Swap

  1. You know Rachel I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten quince. They are not grown in Colorado and I don’t recall having them in California. I love your approach to this!

  2. this was a tough one for me too! I wasn’t thrilled, but isn’t that the whole point? 🙂 great work!

  3. I wasn’t thrilled either but then I found a dish to use as inspiration and love the result..funny how that happens sometimes isn’t it.

    Toni and I are both in Colorado…so ditto what she said; now I would like to find one. Very curious but in any event it sounds good.

  4. To my knowledge, I’ve never had quince. But it does sounds really good, especially paired with marsala!

  5. LOVE it! What a great twist to the original recipe! I wasn’t in love with the recipe, either. I spent about a week scared of it before wrestling it into something I could work with. So glad you are a part of the swap- we’ll see you next time!

  6. I love that you took recipe lemons and turned them into lemonade! Quince are so delicious, and I bet that the marsala wine really made them sing!

  7. I am glad I am not the only one who was lazy in December with blogging. I need the recipe swap to get me back in action! Honestly, I don’t think I have ever had quince before but next time I see some in the market, I’ll get some and make this preserve. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Well you sure did an outstanding job thinking outside the box. I have not had quince but have always wanted to try it. Is it bad that I am eyeing your backsplash in a big way? lol

  9. Congrats for creating a shining recipe even thought you weren’t inspired at first glance! This sounds scrumptious – love the ice cream topping idea.

  10. I am feeling all warm and fuzzy just reading about quince preserves and compotes:) They are really big in Serbia, and I managed to make some of both before I left my native country in early November.
    We grate the quince for preserves, and just chop for compote (the skins and core are used to make the most phenomenal jelly in the world! So much pectin!)
    I think that I could cause a great revolution with incorporating your additives to the compote – I know that my friends would really appreciate marsala:)
    Love it!

  11. What and interesting twist! I had quince in the form of quince paste with jam, but I want to try making some preserve out of it or maybe stew them with some meat… Your preserve looks beautiful!

  12. I’ve never cooked quince, and I really want to while it’s in season. It sounds lovely with the Marsala!

  13. Tres original, I really compotes ..a French thing 🙂

  14. I find quince quite intriguing! This might inspire me to try some.

  15. I always see quince at the farmer’s market and never have ANY idea what to do with it! Next time, it’s this quince and marsala heaven all the way!

  16. Thank you for introducing me to what a quince actually looks like! I have only ever had the paste, and never knew. Your compote looks really good 🙂

  17. Yum! I’ve never tried quince or quince preserves before. Something on my list!

  18. You know, I’ve had quince jam and paste before but never seen one! Thanks for the pics of them whole. And great idea to add booze to jam. Gonna remember that this summer when harvesting peaches.

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