Spiced quince and cranberry compote

Yield: 3 pints

Measure Ingredient
5 Or 6 medium-sized quinces
1½ quart ;Water
2½ cup Sugar
12 Cloves
18 Allspice berries
1 3" piece of stick cinnamon
2 packs Fresh cranberries
Balsamic vinegar

Choose fragrant quinces, the deepest yellow color you can find. Cut each one into quarters; then cut each quarter into slices about ½" thick. Cut out the cores and slice off the peels. If you are unfamiliar with quinces, you will find they have an off chalky texture that is a little difficult to work with. When all the fruits have been cored and peeled, cut each piece into small chunky pieces or slices about ⅓" thick.

Combine the water, sugar and spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve the sugar, and add the quinces. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook slowly until the quinces have turned a deep pink color. You don't need to worry about overcooking the fruit, for it will hold its texture well; it may take about 2 hours for the color to really deepen.

Sort through the cranberries, remove those that are not in good shape, and rinse the rest. Add them to the pan. If the whole mixture seems too dry, add a little more water or some cranberry juice. Raise the heat a little and cook the cranberries until many of them have begun to pop open, about 12 to 15 minutes. Use a rubber scraper to mix them gently with the quinces. When done, set aside in the refrigerator to cool, then stir in vinegar to taste, starting with a couple of teaspoons. Keep refrigerated until needed and serve chilled or at room temperature.

This is a nice sweet-tart relish that goes very well with winter vegetables as well as turkey, chicken, and pork.

Note: If desired, wrap the cloves and allspice berries in a piece of cheesecloth, then remove them after the fruits are cooked if you prefer not to have them mixed into the relish.

Variations: Use pomegranate seeds as a fresh garnish, or the tart juice of the pomegranate used in place of the vinegar. Fresh ginger could also be included, finely chopped and added to the water with the other spices.

From THE SAVORY WAY by Deborah Madison. New York: Bantam Books, 1990.

From: howard_w@... (Howard E. Wittenberg) in rec.food.cooking. Formatted by Cathy Harned.

Submitted By CATHY HARNED On 10-16-94

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