Stuffed quinces

Stuffed quinces

Ayva kebabı

By
From
Eat Istanbul
Serves
4
Photographer
David Loftus

This is an extremely comforting dish. It’s best to use smallish quinces, which are easy to cook and cut open after cooking. Quinces are also used in many meat and vegetable stews and add the type of complex, astringent taste beloved in classic Ottoman cooking. They can be candied and added to sweet pastries and cakes, too.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 small quinces
50g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
30g currants
30g long-grain white rice, washed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
300g lamb neck, minced
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced

Method

  1. To prepare the stuffing, soak the currants in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes, then wash and drain them in a colander. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Put the rice in a saucepan over medium heat, cover with boiling water, add a pinch of salt and parboil for 10 minutes. Drain it in a colander, transfer it to a large bowl and set it aside.
  3. Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the minced lamb, parsley, cinnamon and allspice and cook, stirring constantly, for 8–10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the rice bowl, add the drained currants and mix well. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix again.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and sauté for 5–7 minutes until softened. Take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool.
  5. Wash the quinces, then cut off the tops, remove the cores and hollow them out carefully with a teaspoon, discarding the flesh. Fill them with the stuffing, being careful not to over-stuff them, and place them in a small roasting tin. Put their tops back on, smear them with the butter and sprinkle over the sugar. Add the onions and about 250ml warm water around the quinces and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until the quinces are tender.
  6. Serve the baked quinces surrounded by the onion sauce.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish food
Middle Eastern
Andy Harris
David Loftus
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