Monday, November 7, 2011

Quince cheese or Dulce de Membrillo

I found these beautiful looking quinces at the farmers market and could not stop my self from buying them.

They look like a cross between an apple and a pear, and though they are related to these fruits they are quite different.  They really can not be eaten raw as they are extremely hard and dense and are very sour.


I have never cooked with quinces before, but I have had quince cheese before and enjoyed it so I thought I would have a go at making it. What we call quince cheese here is a traditional south American treat called Dulce de Membrillo which is served with manchengo cheese.

I peeled the quinces cored them and chopped in to small pieces.  This was much harder than it sounds as they fruit is so dense that it is hard to cut the core out.  I was ready to give up at one point but I persevered.

I placed them in to a pot of water with the juice of a lemon in it, and cooked on medium until the the fruit had completely disintegrated.  About 1/2 an hour.

I then added 2 cups of sugar and cooked on a low heat stirring fairly often until the quince had the consistency of a melted jam.  The quince is naturally very high in pectin and so none needs to be added.  Another very unusual property of the quince is that when it is cooked for a long time it changes colour to a beautiful pink orange colour.

When it was ready I poured into a parchment paper lined tin, it was about an inch thick.

I left this in the oven overnight to set and then wrapped in pieces in more parchment paper.

Last Christmas I had seen it in the stores and bought some to go with cheese platters over the holiday season, this year I will be serving my own. Maybe even gifting some, as this made a lot of quince jam.

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