Autumn Treats: Membrillo (quince paste)
We just love old-fashioned fruits and flowers! There's a reason why fruits like quinces and damsons were popular to grow and use in years gone by, and in this fast age of instant meals and takeaways it's lovely, when you have some spare time, to get back to picking and processing fresh seasonal produce to last into Winter. Fruit like quinces are rarely found in shops here in the UK so getting some fruit and making jam, chutney or jelly with it feels like a luxury, especially when you taste their unique flavours and realise they have nutritional benefits too.
|"Violette de Bordeaux" a hardy variety of fig, has given us bowls of lovely fruit this year, even into November!|
- Fresh quinces (I used five)
- A little water
- Sugar (I used raw sugar)
- Roughly chop the fruit and add a little water. Cook down in a sturdy pan until you get a pulp.
- Rub the pulp through a sieve or jelly bag.
- Weigh the pulp and add the same weight in sugar. If you use veggie/ vegan (ie from beet not cane) white sugar you will get a more reddish- brown result. Our brown raw sugar gave the membrillo a russet colour.
- Dissolve the sugar over a low heat.
- Bring to a steady boil, stirring regularly to prevent the mixture from buring on the bottom of the pan.
- When you can scrape the bottom and sides and the mixture pulls away, leaving the pan looking clean, it's done.
- Turn into a tray lined with lightly-oiled baking paper, 2-3cm deep. When cooled and set, cut into cubes. I'm told it keeps very well, so I've stored ours in a jar in a dark cupboard, where, with any luck, we'll all forget about it until Christmas. We did, however, taste a cube each, and both loved the delicate flavour.