Quince Paste (Dulce de Membrillo)

Quince paste recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 32 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
53 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 32
Amount per serving
Calories 53
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 18mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Quince ("membrillo" in Spanish) comes into season just in time for the holidays, and it's delicious in both sweet and savory winter dishes.

Quince paste is made the same way as quince jam, by cooking the fruit with sugar. Quince has a lot of natural pectin and as the water boils away, the fruit forms a sweet paste that can be sliced.

Quince paste is often served with cheese and crackers—especially in Argentina, where this appetizer is known as el martín fierrobut is also used in many pastries.

Quince paste is a gourmet specialty, and you can buy it online and enjoy it all year-round.


  • 2 to 3 medium quinces

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar

  • Pinch kosher salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for quince paste
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  2. Peel and core quince and cut into large wedges.

    Peel and core the quince
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  3. Place fruit in a pot and cover with water.

  4. Add lemon juice.

    Add lemon juice
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  5. Bring water to a boil and cook fruit until it's very soft.

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  6. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes.

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  7. Process fruit in a food processor or blender until smooth, about the consistency of applesauce.

    Process the fruit
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  8. Measure fruit—you should have about 2 cups—and place in a heavy-bottomed pot.

    Fruit in pot
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  9. Add sugar equal to three-fourths of the amount of fruit and stir sugar into fruit. (If you have 2 cups of fruit, add 1 1/2 cups of sugar.) Add a pinch of salt.

    Add sugar
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  10. Bring sugar and fruit to a low boil and simmer, stirring frequently, on low heat.

    Bring to a boil
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  11. Cook slowly, keeping mixture barely at a boil and stirring often to prevent burning, until mixture thickens.

    Bring to a boil
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  12. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is a thick paste that stays together in a ball. The mixture should seem stretchy and almost dry. The fruit will change color and become a bright orange-red.

    Continue to cook
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  13. Pour into a lightly oiled dish and let cool.

    Pour into a lightly oiled dish
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  14. Slice when firm.

    Slice when firm
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  15. Fruit paste will keep for several weeks, covered, in the refrigerator.

About Quince

Quince grows in the same way as apples and pears, on deciduous trees. They are not native to the United States, but they are grown in California. And they are not that easy to find; farmers markets and boutique grocery stores are your best bet.

Unlike apples and pears, quince do not look appealing, sometimes misshapen and with gray fuzz. That doesn't entice you to eat a quince. And they do not taste good raw and are difficult to eat.

But the pleasure of quince is in the cooking of them. They release a delicious scent as they turn from light yellow to pink. Mixed with sugar and water or wine, quince transforms into a delicate treat. Besides making quince paste, you can pour the mixture over ice cream or yogurt or make it into a pie.