From this photo, you can deduce that the quince is fuzzy, but you probably you cannot tell that it is hard. Like unto a rock, albeit a rock with a lovely perfume.
I found this out when I embarked on a quince tart today for my writing group. Luckily, I had my chef's knife* back, from when I left it at the cabin in, like, July. I hewed the hard fruit into quarters, after having washed its fuzz away, then cutting it into lovely slices, which I then cooked for awhile in a maple/butter caramel sauce**. The thing about a quince is, you have to cook it to make it edible.
After bathing the quince slices in caramel, I arranged them in a pretty-ish concentric pattern in the fancy tart dough. I lightly poured a little of the caramel over the quince and put it in the oven to bake, whereupon I went to work a little more on my poem, whereafter I kind of forgot about the quince tart.
It baked a little past the point I would have likely taken it out had I not forgotten about it--maybe five to seven minutes longer--but that all turned out for the good: the quince turned pinkish, which it is supposed to do; the crust was perfectly crisp and buttery; the whole thing smelled divine. I whipped some cream with vanilla and a little sugar, and served it up, and it was about the prettiest and most delicious thing ever divined by persons with an interest in tarts, such as myself.
This is a quince tart, half-eaten:
*Here is the trajectory of my chef's knife this summer and beyond:
- it drove with us from Salt Lake to Idaho, where we used it to make all kind of dinner and deliciousness.
- we left it in the knife drawer. Perhaps others used it, who can say?
- we came back up to Idaho and left it in the knife drawer again.
- I asked my mom and dad to bring it back with them when they close the cabin for the winter. Which they did.
- awhile later, I went down to Utah County for a visit and a birthday pedicure. I developed a quick-release cold, so the sneezing &c. therefrom prevented me from remembering to take home my knife.
- my sister brought the knife up to me when we had breakfast, but I left it in my daughter's car when she dropped me off.
- FINALLY on Halloween, I retrieved the knife and brought it safely home,
where I could use it to make quince tart.
**--ingredients of the maple/butter caramel sauce: maple syrup and butter.