Quince: The Forgotten Fruit

Quinces are in season at the moment. As the cold weather advances and the trees provide us with endlessly changing shades of reds and yellows, it’s time to increase the consumption of cooked food and warm spices.

Warm, spicy porridge and cold green smoothies are no longer the norms in our house.

Quinces are one of those superfoods that few people know about. Quinces have a very short growing season in Victoria, from March to May. They also have the unfortunate appearance of being a mix of a delicious golden apple and a lumpy Packham Pear with fuzzy hair.

Quince is not the newest superfood. It has been used for centuries in a variety of dishes. It was considered sacred by the ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite, and the Romans called it “honey apple” to refer to the honey preserve that made it popular in the past.

Quince is the ultimate autumn fruit. It must be cooked to enjoy it. The high tannin content makes it taste sour-bitter, which can be a problem for even the most dedicated raw foodist. This forces you to slow down and take in the fact that it is getting cold outside.

Quince is a great digestive rebalancing because it’s high in polyphenols. It’s high in fiber and contains good amounts of vitamin A.

Perhaps the best thing about this fruit is the rose-like fragrance that it emits during cooking. It also has the incredible ability to change its color once cooked.

This amazing breakfast recipe from Dawn Whitten, Naturopath at Goulds Naturopathica in Hobart, will show you how to incorporate this seasonal fruit into your diet.

Saffron Quince and Brazil Nut Crumble


To be simmered

  • 2 medium quinces chopped with skin, core and skin
  • 4 medium apples, chopped with skin and core
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 8 saffron threads, crushed on a tablespoon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 small cinnamon quill
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of berries, including blackberries, blueberries and black currants, or raspberries (frozen, fresh or frozen) to be added last


  • 8 Brazil nuts chopped
  • 12 chopped almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut shredded, sulphur-free
  • 4 to 6 Tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds


Step 1 Combine all ingredients from the “to-be stewed” list in a saucepan and heat on low heat. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Step 2 Turn off the heat and add the berries. Combine topping ingredients in a bowl.

Step 3 Place stewed fruits in bowls, then top them with dry ingredients.

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