Oh the Greeks! How wonderful is their food. This recipe is a mustardy Quince relish where the Quinces are cooked in port or Marsala. It is divine, and we use it when we are making large plates of mezze style food – spreads and dips, pickles, olives, crusty bread, fruits, dried fruits, nuts, charred vegetables, and so forth. Recently we have been using our wonderful Cumquat chutney as part of this plate – a new batch was made late one night after a gift of these small tart globular citrus.
For this year, we had half a quince left after braising some Quince and Leeks yesterday (also very delicious served with our Cumquat Chutney). This is the very last of this year’s buckets of quinces from our good friend. Sadly, the house no longer is permeated with the glorious scent of quince, but our cupboards are full of pickles, chutneys, quince paste, quince leather, quince jam, quince vinegar and quince molasses. Glorious.
So, back to this half quince. It was cooked in Marsala, but sweet port can be used, or a sweet wine like Madrodaphne if you have access to Greek wines. The roots of this type of dish is probably English, but it is now common in parts of Greece. Dried fruits can be used in stead of Quince,or added with the quince.
It is glorious with cheese. Try some of this relish and some Quince Paste, with your favourite cheeses.
Sweet Quince Mustard | Quince Relish
3 quinces, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
1 litre mavrodaphne sweet wine, sweet port or marsala
1 cinnamon stick
0.5 small lemon
0.5 tspn freshly grated nutmeg
2 tspns dry mustard powder
Place the peeled and cubed quinces in a saucepan with the marsala, the half lemon, the cloves and cinnamon. Simmer for around 40 mins until the quinces are very soft and the mixture is thick. Remove the lemon and cinnamon stick.
Stir in the grated nutmeg and the mustard powder. Mash or blend the quinces if you like, or leave them cubed.
Serve as a relish, spread on crusty bread, or with cheese.