Baked quince preserve


This preserve can be made on the stove, but I prefer doing it in the oven. The edges of the quince get slightly charred which give them an attractive appearance and adds to the flavor. It can be served with game meat, pork, foie gras, duck…in fact, it is wonderful as an accompaniment with any red meat. It can also be served as a dessert with a dollop of crème fraîche or ice cream. I enjoy it slightly heated up. It goes well with cheese and as a friend Fanta, suggested, wonderful with a cured Manchego cheese.

I don’t peel the quince, nor do I take out the seeds. They are loaded with natural pectin and I  like the appearance with the seeds left in. It also suits our rustic lifestyle, where the rythm of the vineyards and the untamed flow of the Loire and our love of the countryside colour the food we put on our table. If you want your quince to have a nice red colour, cut the slices already the previous evening, put in your pan and cover and add the rest of the ingredients the next day.


  • About 5 to 6 big quince, well rinsed and dried
  • 5 sterilized preserve bottles(500 ml volume)
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 5 star anis
  • 7-8 cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • a few fresh rosemary leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Cut the quince, unpeeled into slices about 8 mm thick.
  3. Place the slices in a large oven pan.
  4. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and the zest.
  5. Add the star anis, cinnamon sticks and cloves.
  6. Pour over the sugar and water.
  7. Tuck in the rosemary branches.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the quince is soft.
  9. Remove from the oven and layer in hot, dry, sterilized bottles. Decorate with some rosemary and a star anis. Fill with the syrup and close the jars tight.
  10. Store in a dark, cool spot.

This is an entry for WHB, hosted this week by Susan from The well seasoned cook. See Kalyn’s kitchen for more information on WHB.


Fig and goat’s cheese tartlets

I have made these tartlets so many times before, using all different kinds of ingredients and they are a winner every time, enjoyed by young and old. They are rustic and full of heart, quick and easy to make. My kind of thing. Given of course, that you use ready made puff pastry. In summer,  it is great with cherry tomatoes and of course all the wonderful seasonal fruits availalble. In winter, red caramelized onions, or cubed sweet potatoes. I tried this time to use mozzarella with the figs in place of the goat’s cheese that I always use. It didn’t turn out too bad, but I have to admit, I prefer the goat’s cheese. It is up to you to try both and choose what you prefer, or even leave out the cheese. Don’t forget the mint leaves though, they add to the harmony of the whole ensemble. I don’t give exact quantities, it is up to your taste.

Fig and goat’s cheese tartlets


  • puff pastry
  • melted butter
  • 12 small figs
  • goat’s cheese/buffalo mozzarella cheese
  • brown sugar
  • fig balsamic vinegar/port
  • icing sugar
  • small mint leaves
  • cream/crème fraîche/natural joghurt/ice cream
  • honey(optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Unroll the puff pastry and cut 4 squares of about 10 x 10 cm. Place the squares on a baking sheet, lined with baking paper.
  3. Prick the inside of each pastry square with a fork and brush with the melted butter.
  4. Tear the goat’s cheese/mozzarella cheese into pieces and place in the middle of each square.
  5. Clean the figs with a towel and cut a cross on the top. Push to open up like a flower and place three opened up figs on top of the cheese. 
  6. Place a drop of fig balsamic vinegar/or port onto each fig. Be careful not to drop too much for it will make the tartlets soggy.
  7. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 10 to 12  minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.
  9. Remove and cool.
  10. Drizzle with some honey, sprinkle with sifted icing sugar  and decorate with small mint leaves.
  11. Serve with crème fraîche/joghurt/ice cream on the side