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In time for the holidays…

November 10, 2011

Quince and pomegranates are coming to the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market this Saturday.   These are two of my favorites for the upcoming holiday season, as they both work so nicely on the Thanksgiving table.

Quince are a funny little fruit that are often too astringent to eat raw, but when cooked they have a wonderful flavor that can be used to make jam or added in pies to enhance the flavor.  Marsha cooks them up with some lemon, sugar and cinnamon that is a wonderful side dish on Thanksgiving.   To prepare quince, first rinse them off and scrub the fuzz off of them.  It isn’t necessary to peel them.  If they are too hard to cut through raw, put them in a pot of water and allow them to simmer on low heat covered for 25-30 minutes.  This will soften them up.  Allow them to cool a bit before cutting, and then you can quarter then and remove the seeds, like you would with an apple.

Cooked Quince:

10 quince, softened and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 lemons
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
Handful of cloves

After cleaning and softening the quince (as above), cut into bite-size pieces and put them in a pot. Squeeze two lemons over them, and then cut one of the juiced lemons into quarters and add into the pot with the quince.  Add the sugar, cinnamon and cloves.  Cook over a low heat for another 30 minutes or so.  When quince are done cooking they turn a pinkish, cranberry color.  You can add raisins, if you like.

Cooked quince are also nice to pair with a roasted pork tenderloin as well.  It is also quite tasty to enjoy at my desk when Marsha brings some in for me to sample!

While I am so happy to have quince back in season, I have been also been creeping through the citrus orchards for weeks now to spy on the progress of the pomegranate trees.  The pomegranate trees are hidden from view in the south corner of the farm, but when you get back in there, this is what you will find…

And now they are finally looking like this and on their way to the markets.

I love sprinkling the pomegranate arils (seeds) on just about anything.  We add them to salads, mix them in with quinoa, cous cous, or risotto and sometimes use them as a garnish on soups.  I also like to juice them and enjoy with a little sparkling water (or with something that has a little more kick to it).  The easiest way to remove the arils from a pomegranate is to first cut off the top and bottom of the pomegranate and then score the skin about four times starting from the top and working down along each side to quarter it.  The knife should only cut in far enough to reach the pith.  Then place the scored pomegranate in a large bowl of cold water and break it apart in the water.  The scored sides should come apart easily and then you can start to separate the seeds from the pith.  This makes it less messy and allows the seeds to separate easier from the pith, since the seeds will sink to the bottom while the pith will float.  Skim the pith off of the top and drain the water.  If you can’t use all of the arils at once, they do refrigerate nicely too for a few days.

Both will be fun to serve at Thanksgiving!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2011 8:16 pm

    I love the color of pomegranates!

  2. November 14, 2011 8:46 am

    Gorgeous autumn fruits that we are currently enjoying in Andalucia too!

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