You'll need to start this recipe two days ahead. In winter you'd be mad not to eat quinces; we poach them as soon as the season begins. I like to use the leftover syrup in every new batch to intensify their rich red colour and complex fragrance. The brown sugar in the parfait is a little harder to work with but adds a welcome depth of flavour. - Jeremy Strode, Bistrode
- 5 quinces, peeled, quartered and cored, skins and cores reserved
- 500 gm caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1 star anise
- 2 cloves
- 5 black peppercorns
- 450 ml thickened cream
- 300 g brown sugar
- 150 gm eggwhites (about 5)
- 30 ml port
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 100 gm hazelnuts, roasted and peeled
- 1Preheat oven to 120C. Wrap quince cores and skin in muslin and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients, except quince and skins, in a large ovenproof saucepan, add 1litre of water and bring to the boil. Add quince and skins, cover with baking paper, weigh down with a plate and cover with a lid. Transfer to oven and cook for 8-10 hours or overnight, until quince is tender. Cool, discard skins and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.
- 2For quince parfait, process 8 pieces of quince in a food processor until smooth and refrigerate until required. Whisk cream to stiff peaks and refrigerate until required.
- 3Cook brown sugar in a small saucepan over high heat for 5 minutes or until sugar reaches 110C using a sugar thermometer. Brush down sides using a clean wet pastry brush to prevent crystals forming. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, slowly whisk eggwhites until firm peaks form. Add port to sugar, then pour over eggwhites in a thin, steady stream. Increase speed to high and whisk for 10 minutes or until cool.
- 4Add 300gm puréed quince, cinnamon and half the hazelnuts to the eggwhite mixture and gently fold through. Add half the cream and gently fold through, then add remaining cream and hazelnuts and gently fold through until combined, without losing too much volume. Spoon mixture into a 2 litre-capacity terrine mould double lined with plastic wrap. Smooth top and give a couple of taps to remove any air pockets. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
- 5To serve, unmould parfait, remove plastic wrap, thickly slice and place on chilled serving plates. Top with 1-2 pieces of quince and drizzle with a little quince syrup.