I was enormously flattered when she gave me a jar and said, "Do you like quince?" Of course I do -- thank you! "Oh, good. I knew I could give Mary the quince jam."
Not only is the jam lovely in the usual ways, i.e.: on toast. But I used it for my recent holiday dinner as a key ingredient: I topped some sliced yams with a mix of butter and jam, then baked them in the oven for awhile. The yams were tender, sweet, luscious ... they were absolute perfection.
I thought it would be difficult to top my usual yam dish -- bake the yams like potatoes, scoop the flesh from the skins and mash in some brown sugar and a bit of both butter and apple cider. But I'd wanted some variation on the theme this year.
My little risk of just winging it on the spur of the moment with no recipe or even a fully formed notion of a plan worked out beautifully, thank goodness. The yams prompted me to think of this line from Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs & Ham: "They are so good, so good, you see!"
Quince-Glazed Baked Yams
2 large yams, peeled, cut into thick (not quite 1/2") slices
1/3 cup butter, softened, divided into 2 equal portions
1/4 cup quince jam
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add yam slices and cook for 10 minutes until tender. Drain.
Grease a baking dish and cover the bottom of it with a layer of yams; dot with bits of butter.
Repeat layers until finished with both yams and one portion of the butter.
Melt the remaining portion of butter and stir in the jam. Spread this over the top of the yams, then sprinkle with the brown sugar.
Bake the yams for 30 minutes, then serve and enjoy ... :)