Roasted quinces with verjuice and plums

Serves 4
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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 or water
8 plums
1 tbsp 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.

Put 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.

While they are cooking, rinse the plums, discarding any bruised or blemished fruit.

About 20 minutes before the quinces are ready, add the plums to the baking tray spooning over the syrup.

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.