Here’s the basic poaching recipe, with a few embellishments, should you choose to add them.
4 c water
1 c sugar
1 t black peppercorns, or 1/2 t ground black pepper, optional
1 cinnamon stick, or 1/2 t ground cinnamon, optional
1 one-inch slice of lemon peel, or 1/2 t grated lemon zest, optional
3 or 4 quinces (about 2 pounds)
1. Combine water and sugar, or water, sugar, pepper, cinnamon, and lemon, if using in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and simmer for two minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat.
2. Peel, halve, and quarter quinces. Core. Or cut first, then peel and core. As you finish each quarter, sip it into the sugar syrup. You can put the cores in the liquid, too, either as is, or in a cotton bag. Once all the fruit is in, return to heat and bring back to a simmer. Cook at a simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender, gently stirring occasionally.
3. Remove pot from heat. Let quinces cool in liquid for a bit, then remove quinces and strain liquid if you have used whole peppercorns, cinnamon stick ,lemon peel, and/or cores. Serve quinces in a bowl with some of the reserved liquid. Refrigerate any leftovers in the poaching liquid in the refrigerator.