Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Burnt Caramel Quince and Apples #FoodieReads

As the school year ends and I have more free time, I happily continue with my Foodie Reads Challenge, I am sharing At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier as my second June read.* I read Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy last year and you can read a recipe inspired by that book and my thoughts about it here: Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands. So, when I saw this book on the bargain table at a local bookstore, I picked it up without hesitation.

On the Page...
Let me just start by saying that I had a really tough time getting through this book. Several times, I told myself to just throw in the towel. But I persevered and finally finished. While I can't say that I loved it, or even really enjoyed it, it was well-written and I think that she captured the locations and time well. The characters felt a one-dimensional which was disappointing.

The novel goes back and forth between The Black Swamp in Ohio - where the Goodenough family has settled, cleared the land, and planted an apple orchard - and California, where Robert, one of the sons, fled from Ohio and moved during the Gold Rush era. The Ohio part was dark and ugly. I found the California segment interesting and that saved the book for me. But I've heard other Chevalier readers rave about Remarkable Creatures, so I'll give that one a try this summer.

On the Plate...
I had a bag of organic apples - not the Goodenough's beloved Golden Pippins that taste like pineapples - and some quince. Has anyone ever tried Golden Pippins? Do they really taste like pineapple? I'm curious.

And - just a reminder - that it is not quince season. I, excitedly, scooped up a bunch when I saw them at the market, but they were clearly not at their prime. Oh, well...

So, I decided to poach them, caramelize them, and use them on top of yogurt with granola for a sweet breakfast treat.


Poached Quince and Apples
  • 4 C water
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • juice from 1 organic lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 C quince, peeled and sliced
  • 2 C apples, peeled and sliced
Burnt Caramel Sauce
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 t fleur de sel
For Serving
  • Greek yogurt
  • granola

Poached Quince and Apples
Combine all of the ingredients, except the apples, in a medium or large saucepan. Bring to a boil, dissolving the sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes and stir in the apples. Cook for another 30 to 40 minutes until the fruits are tender and the quince has turned a delicate shade of salmon pink. Drain and reserve poaching liquid. Remove cinnamon stick.

Burnt Caramel Sauce
Cook sugar, maple syrup, and water in a small deep saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan, until syrup turns a deep amber color, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. 

Remove from heat. Carefully pour in the cream; mixture will bubble vigorously. Add butter and salt and whisk until smooth. Fold in the poached fruit, making sure that the pieces are well-coated. Set aside.

To Serve
Spoon yogurt into individual serving bowls. Top with a scoop of the quince-apple caramel. And sprinkle with granola. Serve immediately.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Here's what everyone else read in June 2017: here.


  1. I find Chevalier hit or miss for me. I really liked The Last Runaway.

    1. I'll have to look that one up, too. Thanks, Heather!

  2. I enjoyed Girl with a Pearl Earring, but will be giving this one a miss. Thanks for the review. Your dish looks amazing though. So something good came out of the orchard:)

  3. I have never even heard of Golden Pippins but now I am curious too.

  4. I absolutely loved this book. lol. I felt the characters weren't one dimensional at all - Sadie was abusive and an alcoholic and didn't have many moments herself and I couldn't get mad at James since he loved his apples so much. I enjoyed reading your review though and the dish looks yummy! i would totally share on my blog later to keep it handy.


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