Quince Compote


Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 3 ½ hours

Quinces are old-fashioned fruits but very much in vogue in the Provence countryside. Have you ever wondered what quinces look like? Below is a photo of the quinces in our friends’ garden in the Provence. They grow on a rather smallish tree which carries an enormous amount of fruits.

Quinces are very hard and it is quite a work to peel them with a sharp knife.


  • 4 ½ lbs (2 kg) quinces, cut into ½ inch (1 cm) slices
  • 1 ¾ lbs (800 g) sugar
  • 10 cloves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 Tbsp rum





This is an old-fashioned recipe. Don’t worry about the 3 1/2 hours preparation time. Most of it is spent slowly cooking the peels and cores of the quinces to get the poaching liquid.Wash, peel and core the quinces. Save the peels and cores, we will need them later. They are used for the poaching liquid.Cut the quinces into roughly 1/2 inch (1 cm) slices. Don’t cut them too thin. Put them in a pot together with 1 ¼ lbs (600 g) sugar. Add the lemon juice. Let them rest until the cores and peels have been cooked.


Put the cores and peels in a pot with the rest of the sugar and the cloves and cover them with water. Let them simmer gently for about 3 hours. Pass the peels and cores through a fine sieve. The poaching liquid will be used later for cooking the slices, you should have about 4 cups (1 liter) of it left. If it turns out to be less add some water or white wine to arrive at the 4 cups (1 liter).

Add the sugared quince slices and cook them over a low flame about 20-30 minutes, trying at times with a fork if they are tender. They should not fall apart. Add the rum and let it cool.

Serve it as a dessert warm or chilled. It will keep for more than a week. If you want to be fancy add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or Crème Fraiche. Voilà – enjoy!

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