4 pounds quince, washed, peeled, cored, roughly chopped
1 vanilla pod, split
2 strips (1/2 inch by 2 inches each) of lemon peel (only the yellow peel, no white pith)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
About 4 cups of granulated sugar, exact amount will be determined during cooking
1 Place quince pieces in a large saucepan (6-8 quarts) and cover with water. Add the vanilla pod and lemon peel and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the quince pieces are fork tender (30-40 minutes).
2 Strain the water from the quince pieces. Discard the vanilla pod but keep the lemon peel with the quince. Purée the quince pieces in a food processor, blender, or by using a food mill. Measure the quince purée. Whatever amount of quince purée you have, that’s how much sugar you will need. So if you have 4 cups of purée, you’ll need 4 cups of sugar. Return the quince purée to the large pan. Heat to medium-low. Add the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the lemon juice.
3 Continue to cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1-1 1/2 hours, until the quince paste is very thick and has a deep orange pink color.
4 Preheat oven to a low 125°F (52°C). Line a 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper (do not use wax paper, it will melt!). Grease the parchment paper with a thin coating of butter. Pour the cooked quince paste into the parchment paper-lined baking pan. Smooth out the top of the paste so it is even. Place in the oven for about an hour to help it dry. Remove from oven and let cool.
To serve, cut into squares or wedges and present with Manchego cheese. To eat, take a small slice of the membrillo and spread it on top of a slice of the cheese. Store by wrapping in foil or plastic wrap, an keeping in the refrigerator.
Homemade jam is easy to make. Although quince is typically hard and not edible raw, it softens during the cooking process and turns ruby red. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice
Wash, core and cut into chunks:2 lb quinceIn a stainless or copper pot whisk together:1 cup water2 cup granulated sugar3 TBS lemon juiceStir in the chopped quince.Place pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.Cover the lid of the pot with a towel (to catch the steam), reduce heat to low and simmer until quince changes to a dark, ruby red color, approximately 2-3 hours.Stir quince every 30 minutes to keep from burning. If low on water, stir in more as needed.When jam is fork tender and ruby red in color, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, if you are canning your jam, click here for canning instructions.
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 2 hours
Inactive Time: 30 min cooling time
Serving Size: 8-oz jar
Serving Suggestions: Serve with toast for breakfast or with crackers for appetizer. You can also add a stick of cinnamon, 4 cardamon pods or a star of anise for added flavor. Just remove after quince jam is done cooking.
Cooking Tips: The key to your quince jam to changing into a ruby red color is to use a stainless or copper pot. The towel around the lid of the pot is also crucial.
Greek Quince in Syrup
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
4 1/2 pounds of quinces (3 1/2 pounds peeled and seeded)1 3/4 pounds of sugar (just under 4 cups)
Run quinces under running water and towel dry to remove fuzz (similar to peach fuzz). Prepare a large bowl of water.
To prepare quinces: Because the quince pulp turns dark once cut open, work with small slices, one at a time. Cut a thin slice of quince from top to bottom of the fruit (not across), about 1/3 inch wide. Remove peel and trim center, the way you would an apple. Cut the slice in half lengthwise and then into thin chunks, and put in the water, otherwise the quince will turn dark. Continue until all quinces have been cut, peeled, and put in water. Drain in a strainer, and rinse under running water.
Transfer quince to a large pot and add enough water to reach the top of the fruit. Add sugar, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. When full boil is reached, lower heat to medium-high, remove cover, and cook until the syrup coats a spoon, medium drip – about 1 hour.