Quince Paste

Quince paste

Richard Jung / Photolibrary / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Straining and Drying: 11 hrs
Total: 13 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 1 pound
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
184 Calories
0g Fat
48g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 184
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 38g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 131mg 3%
*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 paste, called membrillo in Spain, is a tangy-sweet fruit preserve. It is fantastic served with cheese (manchego cheese is traditional), but it also makes an excellent breakfast spread. Additionally, it can be served with crackers, meats, or used with cakes and pastries. Cut this delicious paste into slices and spread away!

There are two ways to make quince paste; one starts from scratch, and the other uses the quince mash leftover from making quince jelly. They both yield the same tasty result.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds quinces (about 4 large fruits)

  • 2 pounds granulated sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash and peel quinces, reserving peels. Core quinces, adding cores to reserved peels.

  3. Chop remaining quince into approximately 2-inch chunks.

  4. Tie peels and cores up in cheesecloth or in a clean muslin bag.

  5. Put chunks of quince and 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, or until quince chunks are mushy.

  6. Remove and discard bundle of peels and cores. Strain remaining cooked quince through a very fine-meshed strainer or a double layer of cheesecloth set in a colander (you can use liquid that strains out to make quince jelly). Leave quince to strain for 2 hours.

  7. Puree strained quince mash in a food processor or run through a food mill.

  8. Weigh or measure puree and then put it in a large pot. Add an equal amount by weight or volume of granulated sugar.

  9. Cook over low heat until very thick, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Stir constantly at first to dissolve sugar, frequently after that. When it is done, quince paste will stick to a wooden spoon, and if you drag spoon over bottom of the pot, it will leave a trail that does not fill in immediately. Be careful at the end of the cooking time to stir often and not let it burn.

  10. Lightly grease a 9-inch baking dish. Spread quince paste in dish, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. It should be about 1 1/2 inches thick. Let paste cool in baking dish.

  11. Dry paste in your oven at the lowest setting, no higher than 125 F. If your oven doesn't go this low, use lowest setting and prop the door open with a dishtowel or the handle of a wooden spoon.

  12. Dry quince paste for 8 hours or overnight. The surface should be glossy and not sticky to the touch. Put baking dish of quince paste into refrigerator for 4 hours.

  13. Run a knife around edges of paste. Invert quince paste onto a plate. Slice as desired.

Tip

You can also make quince paste using the leftover mash from making 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 boiling, straining, and pureeing in the recipe.
  • Add the puree and sugar to a large pot and proceed with the recipe as written.

How to Store

  • Wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Using a Dehydrator

You can also use a food dehydrator to dry out your paste. Remove all but the bottom tray from your food dehydrator and place baking dish of quince paste on bottom tray and set temperature to 125 F.