Turkish Quince Dessert with Rose Apples


It is winter and Quinces are abundant now in Istanbul. We love our Quince and that is why the biggest producer of Quince in the world is Turkey. And we have not forsaken this precious fruit even though most of the world did. Once the Golden Apple, the fruit of Aphrodite associated with love and fertility, believed wherever she walked quince trees sprang up, the fruit that started the Trojan war, even poems were written, 10th century Arab-Andalusian poet Jafer al Mushafi wrote; 'It has the perfume of a loved woman' With the quickening pace of life they were increasingly regarded as too much of a hassle to cook and so fell out of favour, oranges,apples and pears were preferred and soon they were forgotten. Such a shame. Like I said we love and cherish this forgotten gem. Leave a quince on a sunny windowsill it will slowly release its delicate fragrances of vanilla, pineapple, citrus and apple all over your house. We like to eat it raw by gently breaking it into small pieces,( cutting it releases the juices which makes it even harder to eat) sometimes squeezing some lemon on top as a fruit dish on meze tables where our traditional drink Rakı is served. We stuff it with minced meat, or use it in beef or lamb stews. It is a favourite fruit to make jam in fall and winter. And then comes the shiny ruby dessert, a feast to the eyes as well as our tastebuds 'Ayva Tatlısı'. Everything you dreamed of has come together in this heavenly dessert, those fragrances blossoming into a magnificent perfume while magically cooking turns this fruit from a bright yellow tone to all shades of rose. I wanted to give the most plain recipe so that you can enjoy the flavours of this wonderful fruit, poaching in red wine, using ginger or star anise are all options ... This dessert is traditionally served with Kaymak (clotted cream) and you will never find any home or restaurant that serves this dessert without it. It is a must. The sweetness of Kaymak combined the flavours of the fruits are a match made in heaven.

What you will need

4 Quice

120 grams sugar

2 Red Apples

50 grams sugar

5-6 cloves

200ml water(or red wine

1 juice of pomegranate

pistachio flakes

pomegranate seeds

Kaymak ( clotted cream)


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