Quince Dolmas

Ingredients

  • 8 quinces, about 6 ounces each
  • Water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • Mint leaves
  • MEAT STUFFING
    • ¾ cup finely chopped onions
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • ¼ cup uncooked rice
    • 1 cup hot water
    • ½ pound ground lamb shoulder
    • ½ cup chopped mint leaves
    • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
    • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

How to make Quince Dolmas

  1. Wash and dry the quinces. Cut off the tops and remove the cores. Using a small paring knife, remove part of the pulp, leaving a ½-inch-thick shell.
  2. Put the pulp and seeds in a saucepan with 4 cups water, the sugar, cinnamon sticks, and a few mint leaves; cover and simmer 1 hour.
  3. Strain the liquid into a bowl and reserve. You should have 2 cups; if you have less, add enough water to make this amount.
  4. In the meantime, cook the onions in the butter until they begin to turn golden around the edges. Add hot water and the rice. Cover and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Let it cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 °F / 180 °C degrees.
  6. Put the rice, meat, herbs, and spices in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix by hand thoroughly.
  7. Stuff the quinces with this mixture.
  8. Place a sheet of parchment paper in a heavy shallow pan, and arrange the dolmas side by side on it.
  9. Pour the reserved quince liquid in the pan.
  10. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the dolmas, cover, and bake for 1¼ hours, or until the quinces are very tender.
  11. As they cook maintain the liquid level.
  12. At the end of cooking you should have more than 1 cup of cooking liquid remaining in the pan.
  13. Remove the cooked dolmas to a serving dish.
  14. Taste the sauce in the pan and adjust with salt and lemon juice.
  15. Pour over the dolmas and serve hot.
  16. ENJOY!

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