These feel hard as rocks but don't worry. They need cooking to soften (if they already feel soft in the shop they are going off so don't buy them). Often used for jellies and pastes, quinces are lovely in slow-cooked dishes like tagines.
1 Cut into chunks, leaving the skin on and put them in a baking dish.
2 Cover with water and an almost equal amount of raw sugar.
3 Put into a moderate oven and baste with the liquid for at least an hour. You may have to top up the water.
4 When the chunks are totally soft, drain any remaining liquid and cool.
These super-sweet glazed morsels are great with a tasty cheese or alone as a "sweet meat". The cook's reward is the beautiful perfume that comes off the quinces as they cook.By Grant Allen