Membrillo

Quince Paste

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    1.2 kg

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

MY DAD ONCE COMBINED HIS WONDERFUL ATTRIBUTES OF LOVING FOOD, BEING A RETIRED ENGINEER, AND INCREDIBLE THRIFT. WHEN I WAS ABOUT TO THROW OUT A POWERFUL OLD COMMERCIAL MIXER HE JUMPED ON IT AND SAID I’LL TAKE THAT!’ NEXT AUTUMN, I DISCOVERED HE HAD TRANSFORMED THE MACHINE INTO AMEMBRILLO MAKER. MEMBRILLO IS THE WORD FOR BOTH FRESH QUINCE AND QUINCE PASTE AND IT IS OFTEN SERVED WITH CHEESE — I THINK IT’S BRILLIANT WITH BLUE CHEESE. WHEN WE WERE GROWING UP, A SLIVER OF SUPER-SWEET MEMBRILLO WAS OUR DESSERT. DAD’S NEW CONTRAPTION SLOWLY MIXES THE SUGAR AND QUINCES, WHILE A SMALL GAS FLAME REDUCES THE MIX. HE SPOONS IT INTO AN OLD GREASED OLIVE OIL TIN, AND EVERY NOW AND THEN HE SLIDES OUT A LITTLE BIT AND CUTS OFF A SLICE. HE IS BRILLIANT.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) quince(s), peeled and cored
  • 400 g (14 oz/ cups) caster (superfine) sugar, approximately
  • extra virgin olive oil, to grease

Method

Slice each quince into eight wedges and place in a large heavy-based saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 50 minutes, or until tender. Drain the quince, then pass through a food mill. Weigh the quince and place in a heavy-based saucepan.

Measure the equivalent weight of sugar and stir into the quince purée. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 hours, or until the mixture is very stiff. When the mixture thickens enough that a spoon will stand upright in it, you will need to stir continuously to stop the mixture catching.

Lightly grease a 20 × 15 cm (8 × 6 inch) baking tray with olive oil. Line the tray with baking paper and grease again. Spread the membrillo evenly into the tray and leave to cool. Cut into six equal portions, then seal each portion well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 months.