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It looks like a lumpy apple.

RESEMBLING A LUMPY, sometimes fuzzy golden apple, quince doesn't convey its merits overtly. Raw quince is tough, dry-tasting, and generally unappealing. But cooking transforms this fruit. It becomes tender, aromatic, and slightly bittersweet--provocative with meats and grand in desserts. Usually, the pale yellow quince flesh shifts to a slightly golden color as it cooks, but occasionally it develops a rosy hue.

Here we pair quince with lamb stew in a hearty entree; for dessert, quince bakes in a pie with a streusel topping.

Lamb Stew with Caramelized Quince

2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/4 cup sugar 5 large (about 3-in.-diameter, 2 1/2 lb. total) quinces, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch wedges 2 1/2 pounds boned lamb shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks 2 large (about 1 1/4 lb. total) onions, chopped 3 cups regular-strength beef broth 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (coriander) 3 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water 3 to 4 cups hot cooked couscous or rice Cilantro sprigs

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, melt butter and sugar over medium-high heat; add quinces. Turn fruit often until richly browned, about 15 minutes; remove slices as browned. Put quinces in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil. If making ahead, chill up to a day.

To the 5- to 6-quart pan, add lamb and onions. Cover and cook over high heat until mixture is juicy, about 5 minutes. Uncover; stir often until liquid evaporates and browned bits form in pan. Add 1/4 cup broth and scrape browned bits free. Boil until liquid evaporates and browned bits form again. Add another 1/4 cup broth; repeat step.

When liquid evaporates, stir in remaining broth, minced cilantro, honey, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover; simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours. (If making ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to a day. To continue, stir over medium heat until simmering.)

Meanwhile, place covered quinces in a 300|degrees~ oven until hot to touch, about 20 minutes (about 25 minutes if chilled). With a slotted spoon, lift meat from pan. Skim and discard fat from broth. On high heat, stir in cornstarch; stir until broth boils. Return meat and any juices to pan.

On a platter, mound couscous and spoon stew onto it. Arrange quinces around stew; garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serves 6 to 8.--Florence Goguely, Menlo Park, California

Per serving: 440 cal. (26 percent from fat); 32 g protein; 13 g fat (5.3 g sat.); 50 g carbo.; 141 mg sodium; 101 mg chol.

Quince Streusel Pie

5 large (about 3-in.-diameter, 2 1/2 lb. total) quinces, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced 1 tablespoon grated orange peel 1 1/4 cups orange juice 1/2 cup raisins 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 unbaked single-crust 9-inch pie shell Streusel (recipe follows)

In a bowl, mix quinces with orange peel, orange juice, raisins, and cornstarch. Pour into pie shell. Top fruit mixture with streusel. Bake in a 375|degrees~ oven until juices bubble and quinces are tender when pierced, 50 to 55 minutes; if streusel darkens, drape with foil. Serve warm or cool. Serves 8 or 9.

Per serving: 328 cal. (41 percent from fat); 2.8 g protein; 15 g fat (5.2 g sat.); 49 g carbo.; 185 mg sodium; 14 mg chol.

Streusel. In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub mixture until coarse crumbs form. Squeeze to form into lumps, then break apart.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Author:Weber, Christine B.
Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1992
Words:651
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