Poached quince with quinoa, oat and pistachio crumble

Not yet rated

The soft yellow-hued quince shine in this lighter version of a classic winter comfort pudding. With a gluten free topping it's suitable for those on a wheat free diet.

First published in 2015
discover more:

A perfumed fruit that harbours flavours of apple and pear, quince belies its humble appearance. The fruit are harvested from October or November, then kept to mature for six weeks. Stored correctly in a cool, dark and dry place they will keep up to three months.

Ethnic food stores are a great place to gather quince, and whilst many will preserve these luscious fruit (their high level of pectin makes them an excellent component for jam), increasingly cooks are using this winter fruit to enhance seasonal dishes – in sauces with game and other meat, in cakes, pastries and crumbles. They are popular in Mediterranean cuisine. From the classic Spanish quince paste (membrillo) to Persian stews.

In this recipe, we have created a gluten-free crumble (using quinoa and gluten-free oats). The dish is also vegan friendly, using coconut oil rather than butter to bind the grains and a lighter dose of sugar in the crumble.

Poaching the quince in a heady mix of sweet spices – saffron, cinnamon and star anise – gives a delicate but definite Middle Eastern flavour. It is well complemented by the addition of pistachio in the crumble mix. We turned our crumble upside down so the topping became the base to allow the soft yellow-hued quince to shine in this lighter version of a classic winter comfort pudding.

Any leftover crumble topping will keep in a sealed container in the fridge and serve as an easy impromptu dessert idea – we’ve used it to top baked fig and blackberry in the past.





Put the water and sugar into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. When the sugar has dissolved reduce to a gentle simmer on low heat
Add the saffron, cinnamon and star anise into the sugar syrup
Peel and cut the quince into wedges, rub with the lemon juice and place into the hot syrup. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the quinces are a buttery soft texture. Remove from heat and allow the quince to cool to room temperature
Whilst the quince is poaching, grind the quinoa in a high speed blender. Feel free to supplement with another gluten free flour of your choice if you prefer
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Tip the ground quinoa into a mixing bowl, add the oat flakes, pistachios, maple syrup and coconut oil. Rub the oil and syrup into the grains
Use a tablespoon to press crumble mixture into a mould to a thickness of 1cm. We used rectangular but a circular or square mould could look good depending on your serving dish
Remove the mould. The crumble should hold its shape if you have compacted it well enough. Bake the moulded crumble in a baking dish for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown
To serve, place the crumble in a dish, top with pieces of chopped quince. Have some vanilla ice cream to the side
First published in 2015

Nazima is a freelance food writer.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more