How to Make Membrillo Quince Paste
Membrillo has a taste you won't believe!
Membrillo is a deep red, beautifully flavoured, quince paste. It's not difficult to make, what it takes is care and concentration.
A lot of people won't take the time to prepare quinces, we're so used to fast fixes in the kitchen, but if you want to produce a delightful membrillo one afternoon, the rewards are overwhelming.
Quince has a remarkable taste. It's sweet, yet tart. You can't really describe it till you've tried some.
And the aroma! Your house will fill with a wonderful, old-world fragrance of honey, pear blossom and baked apples. You may have to lock your doors to keep the neighbours out.
First, Catch your Quince
A quince doesn't really look very appealing. It doesn't make a passer-by leap in the air with admiration. But the quince has a secret!
The strange, bumpy, spotty quince is the source of absolutely heavenly sweet-tart yumminess.
Every year I run wild with quinces, I make cakes, jellies, curds and I stew the quinces on their own for a gorgeous treat.The quince was once sacred to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, and there's something essentially paradisial about a bowl of quince with vanilla ice cream.
Here's how to make Membrillo, the quince paste.
What you need for Membrillo
- 1 kilo of quinces – roughly 2lbs
- Zest of half a lemon
- Granulated (not castor) white sugar (an equal volume to the pulp)
Rub the furry down off the quinces and wash them. Peel them, and take out the cores.
Chop into quarters and slice to about 1cm pieces.
Always chop quinces carefully! They're tough and it's really easy for the knife to slip
Put the slices in a large pot or saucepan, add water so that they are just floating. Add the zest of half a lemon.
Bring slowly to the boil and then turn the heat down to the lowest setting so that the quinces gently simmer. Keep the lid on.
Simmer the quinces until very soft and they've turned a deep pink colour. About 2 hours. Keep checking in case you have to top up the water.
Let it cool. Strain the juice off. You could keep the juice to make quince jelly.
Measure the pulp using a measuring jug and place in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, add an equal volume of white granulated sugar. Add the juice of half a lemon.
Bring the pulp and sugar gradually to simmering point, stirring to dissolve the sugar and let it simmer, lowest setting for about an hour. You have to stir frequently to stop it sticking and burning.
Be careful! Don't let it splash on your hands!
Gradually the colour will darken and the mixture become very thick
Spread the mixture into lightly oiled dishes or moulds, or pot in clean, sterilised jars.
Make Membrillo in a nonstick Saucepan
Online Cooking Unit Conversion
- 1 kilo of quinces
- 1 lemon
- granulated white sugar in equal weight to the quince pulp
- Wash quinces, peel and remove the cores
- Place in a large pot and cover with water and about 3 cups more water.
- Add zest of half a lemon
- Bring gently to the boil and simmer for at least 2 hours
- When the quince pieces feel soft and have a deep pink colour, take off heat and allow to cool
- Measure the pulp using a measuring jug and place in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, add an equal volume of white granulated sugar. Add the juice of half a lemon.
- Bring the pulp and sugar gradually to simmering point, stirring to dissolve the sugar and let it simmer on lowest setting for about an hour, stirring frequently
- Spread the mixture into lightly oiled dishes or moulds
What to do with a Quince
The quince has fallen out of favour these days and there are plenty of people who wouldn't recognise a quince if it were served up on a plate in front of them. What a tragedy! So let's have a look at some luscious recipes for quinces, the beautif...
Lots more things to do with Quinces
You'll be amazed at what you can do with a quince!
Quince-Orange Pickles; Quince-Cranberry Sauce; Veal Shanks with Prunes, Apricots, and Quince; and Brandied-Quince Buckle; Buttery Almond-Quince Filo Tarts; Quick Quince Chutney, White Pizza with Quince, Prosciutto, Asiago Cheese and Chives; Quince-Infused Spirits Grappa and Vodka,
Where do you get a Quince?
I've never, ever, ever seen a quince in a supermarket and, if I did, I can't imagine buying it. It would surely be tasteless and tacky.
So where do you get a quince?
From a tree! Have a scout around your neighbourhood for quince trees.
We have quince trees in the cooler parts of Australia. It's a small tree, around 4-5m, and can be kept smaller with pruning. The quince tree puts on a good Spring display of white flowers and a very nice Autumn show of colour as the leaves fall.
Best of all, a great crop of golden-yellow fruit appears in Autumn and early Winter!
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