Poached quince with cloves

These fragrant fruits are gently poached until they turn sweet and blush-coloured then served cold with creamy Greek-style yoghurt in this elegant seasonal dessert from Rachel Allen
By Rachel Allen
Poached quince with cloves
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 1 hour cooling time
  • Effort: easy


For the roasted hazelnuts

  • Large handful of shelled hazelnuts

For the poached quince

  • 6 ripe quince
  • 225-340 g sugar
  • 6-8 cloves
  • ½ lemons, juice only, or to taste

To serve

  • Greek yogurt

Tips and Suggestions

a vanilla pod, split in half lengthways, could be substituted for the cloves in this recipe.


1. For the roasted hazelnuts: preheat the oven to 180C/200C fan/gas 6.

2. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and cook for about 10 minutes, or until their skins have darkened, then remove from the oven. To remove the papery skins, wrap the nuts in a clean tea towel while they are still warm and rub together. The skins should come off easily. (NOTE: this can slightly stain the tea towel.) Roughly chop the nuts and set aside.

3. For the poached quince: place the sugar, cloves and 600ml of water into a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, peel the quinces and cut into quarters or eights depending on size, and put them immediately into the hot syrup (otherwise they will go brown). Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the fruit is tender and a beautiful pinky-blush colour. Taste the fruit after about half an hour of cooking, and add more sugar or some lemon juice as necessary.

5. Strain the quinces from about half of their cooking liquor and set aside to chill in the rest. Pour the strained liquor into a saucepan and boil over a medium heat for 5 minutes, or until reduced to a syrup. Set aside to cool.

6. Serve the cold quinces with Greek-style yoghurt, scatter with the roasted hazelnuts and drizzle with the reduced syrup.

Rate This Recipe