Roasted quince

Serves 4

This is a nice simple dessert. The short quince season will soon come to an end, so it is lovely to enjoy them now.

4 quinces
250g/8oz sugar
2 fresh bay leaves
The peel of one unwaxed lemon
1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise
120ml/4oz verjuice
1tbsp crème fraîche

Heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2. Rinse and wipe the quinces clean. Quarter them lengthways but don't bother to remove the pith or core.

Place the quarters (cut-side up) in a baking tray, sprinkle over the sugar, the bay leaves, lemon peel and vanilla, and add the verjuice.

Cover lightly with foil and bake for two-and-a-half hours, turning the fruit a couple of times during cooking.

When the quinces are soft, sticky and a beautiful burnt-orange colour, they are ready. I like to serve these still warm, with a large dollop of good-quality crème fraîche.