Yield: about 8 servings
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- zest from one lemon, in large pieces, plus the lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean (optional)
- 3 large or 4 smaller quince
Peel the quince. Cut each in half vertically, then cut each half into two wedges, and carefully and completely remove and discard the cores. Slice into even, thinner wedges. Place in a stainless steel or enameled pot. Add the water, sugar, lemon zest and halved, scraped vanilla bean plus its seeds. Bring to a boil and turn down to a brisk simmer. Poach for about an hour, until tender and starting to get a bit translucent. Don’t let the syrup reduce too much, you want the quince to stay covered with liquid. You can add a bit more water if needed.
Remove the fruit to a bowl, reduce the poaching liquid, if very thin, to syrupy, and pour over the quince. Refrigerate for up to a week. They’re great right away, but even better after a day or two Serve with their syrup, over ice cream, or use as a filling for a fruit tart.