I hope you know quinces, if not, I wish you get some and try to prepare this divine preparation which can be prepared in advance and which can be part of menu in both sweet and savory winter dishes in the coming festive days.
“Dulce de membrillo” or simply “membrillo” (Spanish name of quince paste or quince cheese) is a sweet, sticky, very thick jelly made with quinces, and is a typical dessert eaten with cheese in Spain (as the name), but it is also wonderful served for breakfast on toasted bread.
This year we got a very mild autumn and until now, the temperature did not reach the freezing point.
At the beginning of October, we collected most of the quinces, but some of them were too high for the harvest. This week the last quinces fall down, I collected them, and I knew I had to preserve them as soon as possible.
I remembered that I have already prepared quince paste, but this time I wanted to use less sugar and add more lemon flavor. I also decided to blend them only after turn reddish; it is easier for me to reduce the liquid in this way.
As membrillo contains a lot of sugar, it may be kept in the fridge for a long time. However, as I in my recipe I reduced the quantity of sugar, I suggest to keep it well wrapped in the fridge for about 2 weeks, if you want to keep it longer, I suggest to freeze it.
Dulce de Membrillo – Quince Paste
- 2000 g quinces
- 1000 g sugar
- 1 big lemon
- 100 ml water
- Place the sugar in a heavy pot add grated lemon zest, the juice of the lemon and the water. Stir. Place the pot to very low heat.
- Immediately peal the first quince, remove the cored and dice them. Add the prepared quince to the sugar mix and stir. Continue to prepare the quinces add them one by one to the mixture. You will see that the quinces will release their liquid-
- Let this simmer slowly stirring form time to time to reduce the liquid; don’t let it stick and burn at the bottom. Most of the quinces will turn mush and after about 1 to 1½ hours, the mixture will begin to turn orange-reddish.
- When the liquid is mostly reduced, turn it to puree using the hand blender.
- Continue cooking stirring frequently with a wooden spatula, until the paste becomes very thick and has a deep orange color.
- There several ways to check if the paste is ready to be poured in the molds:
- Draw the wooden spoon along the bottom of the saucepan: it should leave a trail and the quince mixture will stick to the spoon.
- The mixture is thick enough to hold the spoon upright
- The paste should easily come off from the sides of the pan.
- The paste is thick enough if you are able to see the base of the pan when you draw the wooden spoon through the mixture.
- Scrape the paste into your prepared tin (I use simply clear foil) and level the top. I also used silicon molds, which worked perfectly for this. Leave to set for at least a day in a warm place, then wrap and store airtight in the fridge.