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Membrillo (Quince Paste): Submitted by: Doug Dygas | Date Added: 25 Oct 2011
Listed in: Fruits

4 pounds quinces, washed, peeled, cored, roughly chopped. (Be careful preparing the fruit, it's very dense and hard to cut.)
1 vanilla pod, split or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 strips (1/2 inch by 2 inches each) of lemon peel (only the yellow peel, no white pith)
About 4 cups of granulated sugar, exact amount will be determined during cooking
3 Tbsp lemon juice

Cooking Instructions

Quinces? They look like lumpy yellow delicious apples. Look for them in November/December in the produce section. Though they look like an apple they are very tough to cut through. Take the core out by quartering lengthwise and cutting it out.

1. 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. NOTE: If using vanilla extract, add it when you add the lemon juice in step 2. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the quince pieces are fork tender (30-40 minutes).

2. 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. In food processor this takes a couple minutes until it's a fine purée. Measure the quince purée. Whatever amount of quince purée you have, that's how much sugar you will need. So if you have 4 cups of purée, you'll need 4 cups of sugar. 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.

3. Continue to cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1-1 1/2 hours, until the quince paste is very thick and has a deep orange pink color.

4. If you do not have a food dehydrator, you can use this oven method to remove the excess water. I have not tried this method. Preheat oven to a low 125°F (52°C). Line a 8x8 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, an keeping in the refrigerator.

Note: The first time the author of the recipe made this the top part set, but the bottom had not. To fix, they emptied the quince paste into a large pyrex bowl and put in the microwave. They cooked it on high in 5 minute increments for 20 minutes. During the last minute one of the edges started to caramelize and turn brown. This you don't want to have happen, as the caramelized parts destroy the flavor, but in this case it was a good indication that the rest of the quince paste was ready. They discarded the browned parts and returned the rest to a newly lined baking dish. Back into the oven for an hour and it was done to perfection.

Submitted by Doug Dygas based on a quince membrillo recipe in

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