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Quince membrillo (quince cheese)

Quince cheese

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Membrillo (also known as quince paste or quince cheese) is a thick, sweet jelly made from quince. As quinces are very high in pectin, no setting agent needs to be added and the jelly is made from nothing but fruit and sugar. Traditionally from Spain, it pairs delightfully with a nutty manchego, but is an excellent addition to any cheese board.

Due to the high sugar content, which preserves the jelly, this paste can happily sit in the fridge for months, which makes this the perfect recipe to use up a glut of quinces. Get creative and flavour the paste with a squeeze of lemon juice or a vanilla extract.

Ingredients

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  • Membrillo (quince cheese)

  • 4 quinces
  • 350g of sugar, you may need more or less depending on how much purée you end up with
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Method

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1
Peel, core and roughly chop the quinces
2
Place in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook until soft
3
Drain, then transfer the cooked quinces to a blender and blitz the to a smooth purée
4
Weigh the purée then scrape into to a heavy-based pan
5
Add the same weight of sugar as the quince to the purée and stir well
6
Cook down very slowly for about an hour or until the paste has developed a lovely dark amber colour. Make sure you stir regularly to stop it from sticking and burning
7
Line a heatproof tub with cling film then scrape the paste into it. Even out the surface with a spatula. Allow to cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge to set into a solid block
8
Once set, it can be cut into smaller blocks to serve with cheese or charcuterie, used as a thick spread on toast or crackers, or even as a filling for sweet pastries
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