I have made quince jelly before but never quince cheese (or paste) - cheese in the world of preserves simply means a solid sliceable preserve. With my large golden quinces on hand I searched through my recipe books and came across quince cheese in "River Cottage Handbook No.2 - Preserves by Pam Corbin". This seems exactly like the Spanish recipes I found with the exception that they sometimes add a cinnamon stick ...I decided to keep it plain this first time.
Wash the quince and roughly chop the fruit but don't peel or core them. Place in a large pan and barely cover with water.
Bring to a simmer and cook until soft and pulpy, adding a little more water if necessary. Leave to stand for several hours.
|I took the pulp out of my metal pot and poured the into a large glass bowl for the|
waiting period of several hours. I left it overnight and made the quince cheese the next night.
Rub the contents through a sieve or mouli and then weigh the pulp and return to a heavy bottomed clean pan, adding an equal weight of sugar. I don't have scales at the moment, so I measured cup for cup like you do for jelly. Gently bring to the boil stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Now it becomes a waiting game.
The quince goes through a transformation from a golden fruit to a rich red over long slow cooking.
You have to stir frequently so that it doesnt stick and burn. This can take an hour and a bit, so be prepared and have something else to do in the kitchen while watching over the quince.
|Starts off yellow|
|Then begins to turn orange|
|After an hour it finally starts turning red, thick and glossy.|
I decided to make mine like a cheese round to share with friends. Keep cool, preferably in the fridge, but allow it sit at room temperature before using, so you can enjoy the maximum fruity flavour.
I used a cake tin lined with baking paper and let it set for a day before cutting. If you have small bowls or ramakins that you can use as a mould, then brush them with a little glycerine to allow the cheeses to be easily released.
|The attractively shaped quince cheese from the River Cottage Preserves recipe book and|
a small ramakin that could be used as a mould.
|A perfect set of Quince Cheese wedges ready to be wrapped first |
in baking paperand then in foil
The melon shaped golden quince I got from Northland is probably Pineapple Quince, a tart variety used mainly for preserves. The Apple Quince I get down south looks more like a nobbly pear with sticky fluff over parts of the skin. This quince is known to be sweeter.
- Add a quince to any apple dessert, cake or compote for added texture, colour and flavour - just make sure you give the quince a head start and cook slowly for 20 minutes before adding the apple...or if time is a problem grate the quince
- You can add sliced quince with meat in a tagine or slow cooker as it too enjoys a long slow cooking time
- Instead of apple sauce with pork you could try quince sauce
- Any cores with pips and peel can be boiled up and strained, put into a plastic bottle and stored in the freezer as added pectin for fruit jellies or jams that have lower pectin than quince
- In Chile a dessert favourite is Murta con Membrillo which combines the Ugni Molinae (Chilean guava or as we call it here the New Zealand Cranberry) with quince and sugar
- Quince is lovely baked long and slow under foil so that it turns soft and red. I do this in a little sugar syrup or just a little water and sprinkled with raw sugar (to your taste); and if you want add either a cinnamon stick or star anise
- Poaching Quince with Vanilla. I have included a blog by excellent food writer David Le Bovitz's Rosy Poached Quince recipe and his view on quince. Cooked quince sitting in syrup will turn red over time in the fridge
- I am keen to try Otago Farmers Market Baked Quince a recipe from chef Alison Lambert who creates delicious seasonal recipes from a caravan every Saturday at Otago Farmers Market.
The ancient Greeks believed it to be a fruit of love, marriage and fertility and was often given as a wedding gift to the bride to sweeten her breath. In medieval England, imported Membrillo from Spain was prescribed by apothecaries to assist with digestion.
With this in mind, what a lovely gift to give to a bride to be or to serve after a meal either as dessert or with cheese.
Otago Farmers Market