Quince paste, called membrillo in Spain, is a tangy-sweet fruit preserve. It is fantastic served with cheese (manchego cheese is traditional), but also makes an excellent breakfast spread.
- 3 1/2 pounds (about 4 large fruits) quinces
- 2 pounds sugar (granulated)
- To make quince paste from scratch, wash and peel the quinces, reserving the peels. Core the quinces, adding the cores to the reserved peels. Chop the remaining quince into approximately 2-inch chunks.
- Tie the peels and cores up in cheesecloth or in a clean muslin bag.
- Put the chunks of quince and the bundle of peels and cores into a large pot. Add water to cover by approximately 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the quince chunks are mushy-soft.
- Remove and discard the bundle of peels and cores. Strain the remaining cooked quince through a very fine-meshed strainer or a double layer of cheesecloth set in a colander (you can use the liquid that strains out to make quince jelly). Leave the quince to strain for 2 hours.
- Puree the strained quince mash in a food processor or run through a food mill.
- Weigh or measure the puree then put it in a large pot. Add an equal amount by weight or volume of granulated sugar (by weight is better).
- Cook over low heat until very thick, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Stir constantly at first to dissolve the sugar, frequently after that. When it is done the quince paste will stick to a wooden spoon, and if you drag the spoon over the bottom of the pot it will leave a trail that does not fill in immediately with the quince. Be careful at the end of the cooking time to stir often and not let it burn.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch baking dish. Spread the quince paste in the dish smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. It should be about 1 1/2-inches thick. Let the paste cool in the baking dish.
- Dry the paste in your oven at the lowest setting, not higher than 125F/52C. If your oven doesn't go this low, prop its door open with a dishtowel or the handle of a wooden spoon.
- Alternatively, remove all but the bottom tray from your dehydrator. Place the baking dish of quince paste on the bottom tray and set the temperature to 125F/52C.
- Dry the quince paste for 8 hours or overnight. The surface should be glossy and not sticky to the touch.
- Put the baking dish of quince paste into the refrigerator for 4 hours.
- Run a knife around the edges of the paste. Invert the quince paste onto a plate. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
You can also cut the chilled paste into logs about the size of a stick of butter. Wrap each log individually in plastic wrap. This is a great option if you plan to give some of the quince paste away as gifts.
Quince Paste Using Leftover Mash From Quince Jelly
- After making quince jelly, you'll have a bunch of strained quince mash with the peels included. Run this through a food mill to remove the peels.
- Skip the first 5 steps above and proceed from step #6.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||0 g|
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||0 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|