or "Quince" in English.
I like the sound of the Spanish pronunciation (:
When we moved to this place,
we discovered an odd bush that produced these
hard, yellow, VERY tart fruits.
I knew they must be edible,
since the previous owner had been an avid gardener,
and had planted an orchard
as well as many wonderful plants.
But I had never seen a Quince before,
...so the bush produced for the first 2 years
before a British friend informed me
of about what a wonderful fruit it was.
So today's harvest is Quince
and today's trial-n-error recipe
is Quince Paste, or Membrillo.
- 4 pounds quince, washed, peeled, cored, roughly chopped
- 1 vanilla pod, split
- 2 strips (1/2 inch by 2 inches each) of lemon peel (only the yellow peel, no white pith)
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- About 4 cups of granulated sugar, exact amount will be determined during cooking
Place quince pieces in a large saucepan (6-8 quarts)
and cover with water.
Add the vanilla pod and lemon peel and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover,
and let cook until the quince pieces are fork tender
Strain the water from the quince pieces.
Discard the vanilla pod but keep the lemon peel with the quince.
Purée the quince pieces in a food processor,
blender, or by using a food mill.
Measure the quince purée.
Whatever amount of quince purée you have,
that's how much sugar you will need.
Return the quince purée to the large pan.
Heat to medium-low.
Add the sugar.
Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Add the lemon juice
Continue to cook over low heat,
stirring occasionally, for 1-1 1/2 hours,
until the quince paste is very thick
and has a deep orange pink color.
Doesn't it look inviting?
Preheat oven to a low 125°F (52°C).
Line a baking pan with parchment paper (do not use wax paper, it will melt!).
Grease the parchment paper with a thin coating of butter.
Pour the cooked quince paste into the parchment paper-lined baking pan.
Smooth out the top of the paste so it is even.
Place in the oven for about an hour to help it dry.
Remove from oven and let cool.
To serve, cut into squares or wedges
and present with Manchego cheese.
To eat, take a small slice of the membrillo
and spread it on top of a slice of the cheese.
Store by wrapping in foil or plastic wrap,
and keeping in the refrigerator.
If you've never had this wonderful dessert before,
but have the chance, DO try it!