Remember the opening credits to Quincy M.E.? A recurrent clip is interspersed throughout episode footage (mostly snippets of Quincy in a blind rage, shouting at someone); we’re led to believe that it shows him inspecting a dead body on a post-mortem table. But wait! The camera zooms out to reveal our hero ‘examining’ a bikini-clad lady’s shoulder on a yacht, moored up in a posh harbour! The cad! They toast a pair of gin & tonics - I swear that hers is laced with anaesthetic snaffled from the lab though. He’s not quite right that Quincy is he?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here
Reader, I apologise. I feel that I’ve lured you here under the pretence of offering warming autumnal sustenance, only to digress with talk of a 1970s American TV series*. Many thanks to the lovely Silvana de Soissons for a bagful of gorgeous Quinces - I plan on making a batch of membrillo with the remaining fruit, but couldn’t resist roasting a few up on Sunday for dessert. It’s really worth trying to track down a bottle of Pineau (to drink as well as to cook with); I had the good fortune to visit the Charente Valley in the summer, but Oddbins stock it. Serves 4.
*Which was never a patch on Columbo, I might add.
4 Quinces, quartered and cored
1 Wine glass of Pineau des Charentes (use port or sherry if you can’t get hold of this)
Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 Star anise
1 Cinnamon stick, broken up
Vanilla ice cream, to serve
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Arrange the quinces in a large baking dish, then add the remaining ingredients. Cook in the oven for about an hour, turning the quinces regularly and spooning the juice over the softening fruit. Serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream.