Ayva Tatlısı – Turkish Quince Dessert


Here another recipe including quinces; this year I’m lucky we have a lot them and I’m experimenting trying to many different ways to prepare these wonderful fruits.

Quince belongs to the same family as apples and pear, but they are much harder, but are delicious when it’s ripe. The hard and tangy quinces become soft, fragrant in a beautiful dark rosy pink color when it is cooked. This dessert is very popular in Turkey from October to January winter time and I was impressed from how delicious it was.

I prepared this dessert without any food coloring and the quinces turned red, did not turn mushy and the flesh remained firm.

It is said that the seeds will help to develop the red color and I any case they are rich of pectin. You can also keep the peel in the pan as they are very flavorful.

Ayva Tatlısı - Turkish Quince Dessert

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/Turkish-Quince-Dessert-1

You need:

Quinces compote:

  • 1/2 lemon juice (to prevent quince to turn dark)
  • 3 medium quinces or 6 small quinces (total weigh before peeling and coring about 1200 g)
  • 1 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 cloves (it works even using only 150g!)
  • 200 g sugar

To serve: (or wiped cream, vanilla ice cream or better Kaymak if available)

  • 1 cup Turkish yogurt (or Greek or Balkan style)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios


  1. Prepare a bowl with enough water to cover quinces when halved. Add lemon juice.
  2. Peel the quinces, halve quince and remove the cores. Collect the seed and make a package enveloping them in a small cotton fabric. Place each of the prepared quinces directly into the bowl with lemon juice as soon as possible.
  3. Place the peeled, halved and cored quinces in a wide skillet cut side up. Add water and spices to the bottom of the skilled and cover the quinces with the sugar.
  4. Cover and bring to boil, as soon as the boiling point is reached reduce the heat and let simmer for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until softened and color turned red. Check liquid from time to time and if necessary add a few tablespoons water from time to time. As more you cook the as reddish they will turn, I noticed that they turn also translucent.
  5. Remove from the heat, discard seeds and let cool down.
  6. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the filling.
  7. Place quinces on serving single plates and fill the hole with the filling.
  8. Sprinkle the pistachios on top and serve reddish syrup.

Turkish-Quince-Dessert 2


15 thoughts on “Ayva Tatlısı – Turkish Quince Dessert

    • 🙂 Thanks Peggy! I know you have quinces from the garden… in winter! I imagine I can make those without topping and preserve them in a jar after sterilizing! Then perhaps in summer with some vanilla ice-cream! Yummy!

  1. Pingback: Quince Tarte Tatin | artandkitchen

  2. My Mom used to make these in the Lebanese tradition, which uses only cinnamon and instead of halving the quince, she would chop it. The cloves in this recipe make the quince even more aromatic, my house smelled heavenly while they were cooking! They were also very good. Thank you! Made for CQ #4.

    • Thanks so much Janin for trying this recipe! You made me really happy seeing that somebody made it as this kind of dessert is not very common in western countries! I will keep your suggestion in mind as in autumn we will have lot of quinces again and I always look for new recipes. Do you remember how long did you mother cook them?

      • Probably closer to an hour. It’s hard to find fresh quince where I live so when I saw a bin in our local market I knew I had to get some! It was pure good luck that you posted recipes using them, I was just going to cook them the same as always 🙂 I took a photo, and will post it in the forum. I don’t know why they didn’t turn redder, maybe they were underripe.

        • Thanks a lot Janin! Thanks for trying this recipe and I hope you enjoyed it beside of the color. Quinces need a long cooking to change the color and turn reddish. According the tradition some seeds have to be cooked with the preparation, but I’m not sure how true is this. In any case I can imagine that the story of the seeds explains by itself that we might have problem with the color.
          I prepare quince jelly from time to time and even with this I need a long cooking time until the color changes; I only use ripe quinces from October when they are yellow and they smell already well before cooking, if the are not ripe they don’t smell! Here an article about the red color of quince paste: http://www.kitchenchemology.com/recipes/quince-paste-red

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