If you are lucky enough to find quince in your market, you must make this two-ingredient membrillo or quince paste. It is great with crackers, manchego cheese, as a pastry filling and instead of jelly.
What is it about food that triggers warm family memories? We (conveniently) may not remember a conversation we had with our husband a week ago, but we can remember perfectly my grandmother making a delicious Turmeric Cake every summer that filled the kitchen with a warm inviting aroma. She will always say to us: “isn’t that amazing that you can make a cake without using eggs?”, we nodded not knowing anything about baking, we just wanted a piece of cake!! 🙂 Who would have thought that many years later we will end up developing multiple dessert recipes without using eggs… Abuelita was our inspiration.
We were not lucky enough to meet our paternal grandmother, only Vicky knew her for a brief period of time before she passed away, but our father still remembers her cooking… Our parents were still visiting us when we were playing around with some quince recipes. Our father told us how our grandmother used to make quince paste (membrillo) and used to wrap the seeds in cheesecloth to thicken it. It’s amazing how back then they were able to figure out how to do certain things in the kitchen, nowadays we would just add some pectin. We wanted to stay true to our grandmother’s recipe and use the quince seeds as our thickener.
We hope she is smiling down on us as we attempt to recreate her amazing quince paste (membrillo) recipe, as our father remembers it…
HOW TO MAKE MEMBRILLO AT HOME
- Peel and cut each quince into 8 pieces
- Remove seeds and place them in a cheesecloth. Create a pouch and tie it with cooking twine. Our grandmother’s trick
- Combine quince, sugar, water, and seed pouch in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. The quince will turn from a white color to a reddish caramel color.
- Let it cool, take seed pouch out, and puree the quince with an immersion blender or in the food processor until smooth
- Place cooked quince paste in a square glass container and let it cool and set in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Slice and enoy with a sharp manchego or cheddar cheese, with soft creamy cheese ( for a smoother contrast), over yogurt, on crackers or as a filling for pastries or pie.
About Quince and Membrillo
- Quince is a fruit that looks like a cross between an apple and a pear.
- Quince must be cooked, it is not pleasant to eat raw it has a rough grainy texture even though it has a slightly floral aroma.
- It is not easy to find, but if you are lucky enough to find it, you must try this membrillo recipe.
- Try asking the produce manager of your local supermarket for quince or look for it in farmers markets or specialty stores. We have also found online stores selling quince but in large quantities.
- Membrillo is guava like paste made out of quince.
- It is made like jelly, by cooking the fruit in sugar. When cooked quince holds its shape like guava paste.
- When cooked the creamy white quince turns a beautiful reddish-pink color
- Membrillo is how quince paste is called in Spain.
- You can find membrillo made in Spain specialty supermarkets and gourmet food shops
- In Spain, membrillo is eaten with Manchego cheese. The sharpness of the Manchego cheese and the sweetness of the membrillo complement each other beautifully.
- Membrillo can also be added to soft creamy cheese, to yogurt or as a pastry or pie filling.
If you are lucky enough to find quince in your market, you must make this two-ingredient quince paste. It is great with crackers, manchego cheese, as a pastry filling and instead of jelly.
- 2 large quince
- 1 1/4 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- Peel and cut each quince into 8 pieces. Remove seeds and place them in a cheesecloth. Create a pouch and tie it with cooking twine
- Combine quince, sugar, water, and seed pouch in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes
- Let it cool, take seed pouch out, and puree the quince with an immersion blender or in the food processor until smooth.
- Spread the paste into a rectangular or square shallow dish with a lid. Cover it.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours
- Serve over crackers, plain or with Manchego or sharp cheddar cheese
- Serving Size: 1 tbsp
- Calories: 54
- Sugar: 12.5
- Sodium: .5
- Fat: 0
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 13.9
- Fiber: .2
- Protein: 0
- Cholesterol: 0