Yesterday I gave a cooking demonstration to ten members of a women’s group I belong to. We take it in turns to host our monthly meeting which takes the form of a cooking demonstration, followed by lunch. Conversation is all in Spanish. In case you are wondering what on earth we were drinking it was cranberry juice with soda water!
As you can see from the photo, we started off with a Tomato, Mozarella and Pesto Tian, which was the first recipe to appear on this blog. This was followed by Maggie Beer’s Baked Quinces served with Labneh – a delicious alternative to whipped cream to serve with desserts. If preferred you can leave the skins on the quinces – just rub off the “fur” – but the texture will be slightly different.
Baked Quinces with Honey and Labneh
4-6 quinces, peeled, quartered and cored
4-6 Tbs honey
1/2 cup fruit juice (e.g. apple, orange)
1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
50g unsalted butter
Extra honey or golden syrup
1 kg plain Greek-style yoghurt
Pre-heat oven to 150C. Place quinces in a heavy iron casserole with a lid, such as Le Creuset. Add remaining ingredients, then bake in the oven for 2-3 hours or until the quinces are tender, but still hold their shape and are the colour of burnished pumpkins. Stir and turn the fruit once or twice during cooking time. Serve warm (two quarters per person) with a dollop of labneh. If liked drizzle with a little extra honey or golden syrup.
Line a large sieve with a piece of muslin or a man’s handkerchief and place over a bowl, allowing space under the sieve for liquid to accumulate. Tip the whole container of yoghurt into the sieve, then cover – I find a shower cap is ideal for this job. Leave in the fridge overnight or longer. Discard the liquid (although I have to say that our Golden Retriever loves it) and store the labneh in a covered container in the fridge. Serve as an alternative to whipped or thick cream. If liked you can sweeten the labneh with a little icing sugar and add some vanilla paste, but I like it plain. Keeps in the fridge for a week or two.