Ayva tatlısı is a winter dessert from Turkey prepared by poaching quinces in sugar and water. Spices such as cloves and cinnamon are added to the sugar and water to enhance the flavor, and the pectin in the quince seeds serves as a thickener.
The slow, lengthy cooking process transforms the hard and astringent quince into a soft and delicate ruby-colored dessert with a distinctive rosy scent. Once cooled, ayva tatlısı is served with a dollop of clotted cream or kaymak, and can also be dusted with a sprinkling of walnuts or pistachios.
- 4 quinces
- 16 tbsp of granulated sugar
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- Some cloves
- 100 ml of water
- To serve: clotted cream whipped cream ice cream
How To Make Quince Dessert
1- Combine 1 It of water with the juice of half a lemon in a large bowl.
2- Peel the skin of quinces, cut them in half and scoop out the cores.
3- Place the quinces into the lemon water to prevent darkening.
4- Set the seeds and the skins aside to use later on. They will add more color to the quinces.
5- Take an oven bag and open. With the help of the bag, quinces will cook easily with their own juices.
6- Place the quinces in the oven bag in a way that the pitted surfaces face upwards.
7- Fill the each hollow part with 2 Tbsp of granulated sugar.
8- Fill the bag with the peels, seeds, 2 sticks of cinnamon, some cloves and 100 ml of water. Close the bag tightly.
9- Poke holes in the bag with the help of a toothpick.
10- Bake the quinces firstly in an oven pre-heated at 160 °℃ for 25 minutes, then at 200 °C for another 35 minutes.
11- Place the baked quinces on a serving plate and leave them to cool down.
12- Once cool, serve with clotted cream, whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
13- You can sprinkle some crushed pistachio or walnuts over.
Given that it takes a long time for the quinces to develop their color, sometimes even up to six hours, many sweets’ makers use artificial coloring to achieve that signature ruby-red color and shorten the cooking time. You can recognize that the colorants have been used if the color of the quince is too bright, but when you slice the quince the inside remains pale.
The main reason why cloves are added is that they help the quinces achieve their signature color, but if looking for extra flavor, you can also add cinnamon, lemon, or orange peel, and even poach the quinces in sweet dessert wine.
There are two ways you can prepare this dessert; by poaching the quinces and by roasting them in the oven.