To seal a pan, couscoussier, etc. with a dough made from flour and water. This prevents the steam from escaping, keeping in moisture. This technique can also be performed using puff pastry.
A state acquired by heated butter between boiling and starting to color. Its name comes from the color and smell that is reminiscent of a toasted hazelnut (noisette in French).
To expose food to high heat in the presence of a fat or oil in order to cause coloring and rapid coagulation of the superficial areas by the heat to preserve flavors inside the product.
Reduce means to cook a liquid in an uncovered pan in order to reduce its volume by evaporation, achieving a more concentrated flavor and a thicker, syrupy consistency.
A native of the Caucasus and Iran, the quince was cultivated more than 4,000 years ago in Ancient Persia. It is also known as the "Pear of Cydonia".
The Ancient Greeks grew quince trees around the town of Cydonia or Kydonia in Crete, hence their botanical name: Cydonia vulgaris. They ate the fruit after having filled them with honey. They considered the quince the symbol of love and happiness.
Along the same lines, the Romans consecrated the quince to Venus: she is represented with a quince in her right hand, a gift from the god Paris. They were offered to the newly married couple at weddings.
Apicius left a recipe for "patina of quince" in which they are cooked with leeks, honey, oil, garum, and defritum (mosto cotto in present-day Italian). Sea bream was also cooked with quince.
In medieval France, quince was greatly used in both cooking and medicine. Among other things, a quince paste – cotignac – was made as a sweetmeat that also served as an aid to digestion and a remedy for diarrhea. Don Quixote strongly recommended that Sancho Panza took a few slices of quince jelly to soothe his indigestions: thus dulce de membrillo, immortalized by Cervantes, has become a popular sweet dish in Spain, often served with cheese.