This is a quince. Quince is my new favorite fall fruit. They cannot be eaten raw. They need to be cooked. Quince is ahhh-mazing cooked. They remind me of a cross between a sweet-tart apple and a sweet juicy pear. When they are cooked they have an intoxicating aroma and when you taste cooked Quince it is sweet and floral with a very slight tang. I have started to use them in place of apples in my cooking. I love experimenting with new ingredients. The Sweet Dumpling squash is a new ingredient for me too. It has a very, very mild acorn squash taste. The flesh is slightly nutty and a little sweet. This recipe is easy to prep with some adequate hands-off time so you can accomplish other tasks. This dish made the house smell wonderful for hours after dinner and was perfect for a chilly autumn night.
Note: If you can’t find quince at your supermarket, substitute a sweet-tart apple variety like a Cameo or a Jonagold.
2nd Note: I don’t use recommendations for salt amounts because every one cooks with a different brand. Salt your food at various stages of the cooking process to get the best flavor out of what you cook. Salt based off of your preferences and how salty your brand of salt is (fine table salt vs course ground sea salt, etc.). Always taste as you go.
Serves: 2 with left overs for lunch
Time: 15 minutes prep, 1 hour to 1.5 hours cook.
- 1 pound 80/20 ground pork
- 2 small sweet dumpling squashes (substitute acorn squash)
- 1 quince, small dice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery minced
- 1 medium shallot minced
- black pepper
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 3/4 tsp dalmatian sage leaves
- 1 TBSP ghee or butter
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Get out a 8X8 baking dish. Clean squash, cut in half, de-seed the squash, and place squash in the baking dish.
- Mince celery, shallot, garlic and dice quince. Get your seasonings out. Put ground pork in a bowl.
- Pre-heat nonstick skillet on medium heat.
- Add the ghee or butter to the hot skillet and melt. Add quince, celery and shallot. Sweat the veggies and fruit until they become translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add garlic, sage, white pepper, and salt to skillet and cook for about one minute. Remove the skillet from heat. (TIP: Rub sage between your palms before adding it to the skillet. This helps get more sage flavor out of your dried herb.)
- Add cooked quince and veggies and additional salt to the ground pork and mixed until they are combined.
- Stuff squash with pork mixture and salt and pepper the dish.
- Place about 1/2 cup water in bottom of baking dish. Put baking dish in oven.
- After pork is browned, takes about 30-40 minutes, check doness of the squash. If the squash is easily pierced with a knife and pork mixture is at 160 degrees Fahrenheit you are done. If squash still needs time to cook, cover baking dish with foil and put back in the oven. This will help steam the squash. Increase the oven temperature if needed.
- When squash is tender and pork is cooked through you are ready to eat!