In season early autumn: Quince

This apple and pear relative has an astringent, tart flavour, and it sometimes smells like a tropical fruit.


Yellow and firm fruit are best but handle them with care as they bruise readily.


Store quince in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to two months.


Quince is high in vitamin C, at 14mg in an average fruit, and even higher in fibre than its (apple and pear) cousins, with 2g of fibre in an average fruit. It also contains similar groups of phytochemicals to apples and pears, which includes quercetin, a powerful antioxidant with anti-carcinogenic and heart-health properties.

Using quince

As quince has a high pectin content, it makes good jams, jellies, and preserves. Use cooked quince as a replacement for pears and apples in recipes. Quince are great poached, stewed or used in baking.

Did you know? Quince are inedible when raw – they need to be cooked until soft. When slowly cooked, quince flesh becomes a deep rust colour.

First published: Mar 2010

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