What Can You Do with a Quince?

One could make jelly, compote, or even a wonderful Persian inspired dish, but my favorite thing to make with quince is Membrillo, or Quince Paste. In Spain it is a popular tapas when paired with cheese, preferably Manchego. Together they make a perfect marriage.The combination of sweet and salty is one of the most delicious on earth. One bite and I guarantee you will be hooked. Now you can buy prepared Membrillo at Whole Foods, in gourmet stores, or wine shops, but it is quite expensive. So why not make your own?

What is a Quince?

The quince is an ancient and hardy fruit related to the apple and pear. It is hard and tart and most varieties cannot be eaten raw. But once cooked, it becomes delightfully fragrant, taking on a rosy hue and delicate flavor. You can find quinces in late September and October.

Membrillo (Quince Paste)

4 medium quinces (about 2 pounds total)
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
2 to 3 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 1-quart terrine.

Wash quinces and place in a small roasting pan. Cover and bake until fork tender, about 1 hour.

When cool enough to handle, peel, core, and chop quince and place into a food processor.

Puree pulp with 1/4 cup water until smooth (if mixture is too thick, add remaining 1/4 cup water a little at a time, as needed).

Measure the amount of puree, then transfer to a heavy saucepan and add the equivalent amount of sugar.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened and begins to pull away from side of pan, about 25 minutes.

Pour into terrine or Pyrex loaf pan.

Smooth the top and once cooled, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours until set.

Run a thin knife around sides of terrine and invert onto a platter. (Quince paste keeps, wrapped well in wax paper and then plastic wrap and chilled, 3 months.)

Serve with crackers and Manchego cheese.


2 thoughts on “What Can You Do with a Quince?

    • Unfortunately the new owners removed that quince tree so I had to go all the way to SF for quinces! These beauties are from the Ferry Building market. And beauties they were. Wish I had bought more…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s