Sweet with an amazing floral fragrance. Quince fruit paste is thick enough (and firm enough) to cut into wedges, thinly sliced or cut into shapes with cookie cutters, which look wonderful on a fruit/cheese platter. You can also make membrillo as a thick spread to bottle in jars if you prefer. Serve with meat, firm white cheese i.e. Spanish Manchego and crackers, in sandwiches or toast (with cream cheese or soft cheese), spread on/in cakes or stuffed into pastries. Sliced pieces of quince fruit paste can also be dehydrated, then rolled in sugar to be eaten as a sweet treat.
Ingredients for  QUINCE FRUIT PASTE
Yield: 7-8 cups
Yield: 14-15 cups
2.5kg (5 1/2 pounds)
5kg (11 pounds)
2 1/2 cups
5 cups
Lemon Juice
1/3 cup
2/3 cup
around 1kg (2.2 pounds)
around 2kg (4 1/2 pounds)
1.  Discard damaged fruit (they can affect the flavour, reduce the storage period and increase the risk of spoilage). 
2.  Pour lemon juice and water into a bowl.
3.  Wash, peel, core and dice quince. Place prepared quince pieces into the lemon water as they are prepared.
4.  Place quince (including lemon water) into a large pot/pan (or slow-cooker). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook (uncovered) for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quince are soft and easily sliced with a spoon or knife. They’re usually a rose pink hue by this stage. Remove from heat. Drain liquid to reserve for jelly-making, if desired (see Notes section below). Puree quince, including liquid (if using) to a smooth consistency.
If using a slow-cooker, have lid open slightly and puree once the quince are soft and their colour has changed to rose pink.
5.  Measure quince puree.
6.  Return quince puree to the pot/pan (or slow-cooker) and add sugar – 3/4 to 1 cup sugar per 1 cup puree is recommended.
7.  Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved.
8.  Simmer on low (uncovered) until very thick and ruby red in colour (around 3 hours). When a spoon is pushed through the membrillo, it will leave a trail, and be thicken enough to hold the spoon upright in the mixture (see photo, right).
Colour will change from pale white/cream to peach to a rich pink/rose colour, then deepen to ruby red or burgundy red colour. Cook to your liking.
9.  Remove quince paste from heat.
10.  Pour quince paste into a dish, lined oven tray, or bottle in jars (and process in water bath) as per one of the techniques below:

This can be used for quince paste that has been cooked to setting stage (as thick as possible).
11.  Oil a heatproof dish/container/s.
12.  Pour the hot quince paste into the dish/container/s.
13.  Allow to cool to room temperature.
14.  Refrigerate to set over 12-24 hours.
15.  Remove quince paste from the dish, slice into pieces and wrap in plastic food wrap or store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 months (or freeze for up to 12 months – double wrapping for freezing is recommended).
This can be used for quince paste that has been cooked as much as possible, but you want it a bit thicker – perhaps after refrigerating the quince in the dish in the technique above, it is not as firm as you want? Or colour is not as deep red as you want?
11.  Line an ovenproof dish with baking paper.
12.  Pour the quince paste into the dish.
13.  Dry on low heat (i.e. 100°C/212°F) for a few hours in the oven, until dried to your liking.
14.  Remove tray from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
15.  Transfer quince paste (including baking paper) onto a plate or dish and allow membrillo to set over 12-24 hours in the refrigerator.
16.  Separate quince paste from the baking paper, slice into pieces and wrap in plastic food wrap or store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 months (or freeze for up to 12 months – double wrapping for freezing is recommended).
This can be used for quince paste that is a thinner (pouring/spooning) consistency than the two methods mentioned above. If the fruit paste is too thick, add a little bit of fruit juice (i.e. apple juice or lemon juice) to the quince paste and heat until hot.
11.  Clean jars (or bottles) and equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
12.  Prepare jars (if they require pre-heating, i.e. twist top jars) in a pot lined with a clot h. Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill. 
13.  Place lids into a bowl. Cover with boiling water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.  
14.  Remove jars from hot water and place onto a heatproof surface i.e. tea towel. Pour the hot quince paste into the hot jars to 0.5cm (1/4 inch) from the rim.
15.  Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth to remove any fruit paste residue.
16.  Remove lids from hot water and seal jars i.e. twist to secure “fingertip tight”.
17.  Return jars of fruit paste into the pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes back to a full boil.
18.  Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a heatproof surface i.e. wooden board or towel. Do not adjust lids during this time.
19.  The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating clearly.
20.  Store jars of quince fruit paste in a cool, dark and dry place (i.e. pantry) for up to 12 months. Jar lids should remain tightly sealed during storage, and not flex up or down when pressed (which indicates jar seal failure, do not consume).
21.  Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume contents within 6-8 weeks.
Processing Time for  QUINCE FRUIT PASTE  in a Boiling Water Canner

≤ 1,000 feet
1,001 - 6,000 feet
> 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 1 Litre (quart)
15 minutes
20 minutes
25 minutes
Choose one of the following flavour options:
o  Replace all or part of the cooking water with 100% apple juice, pear juice or white wine (i.e. Riesling);
o  Spices: add 1-2 teaspoons of dried cinnamon, ginger or vanilla;
o  Add 1/4 cup local honey
o  Add 1/4 cup maple syrup.
o  Smell your quince before beginning this recipe! They should be very aromatic, with a floral fragrance – if not, leave at room temperature and check again in a few days. Freshly picked quince might take a week or two.

o  Quince require cooking prior to eating. They are very hard, requiring washing and peeling is recommended to remove the fuzzy skin and cores prior to cooking.

o  Quince colour change during cooking is fascinating: they change from a pale honey colour to peach, then a rich red/burgundy colour. Membrillo can be peach to burgundy in colour – the deeper the colour, generally the thicker the quince paste (depending on the pectin content and cooking temperature/time).

o  If at any point the quince sticks/burns on the base of the pot/pan, do not stir. Transfer to a new, clean pot and continue cooking.

o  An oven is not recommended for reducing the quince puree - just use the oven for finishing quince paste at the end if you wish. The dry heat of the oven forms a seal on the outside of the quince paste, preventing excess moisture from escaping.

o  Low-sugar option: 1/2 cup sugar per 1 cup quince puree is the minimum we recommend to achieve a setting point.

o  No-sugar option: not recommended for this recipe (sugar is required for the texture/consistency).

o  Honey or maple syrup can be used instead of sugar, start with a 1/3 to half of the sugar quantity, using honey or maple syrup instead. As these sweeteners turn into liquid when heat is applied, longer cooking may be required to achieve the desired consistency.

o  The cooking liquid from simmering the quince (step 4) can be removed for making quince jelly. Strain the softened quince (no pressing) through a fine mesh sieve/colander or cheesecloth-lined colander to separate the juice from the fruit pulp. Then continue with the pulp, adding sugar as per step 5 onwards.

o  Firm quince paste can be cut before serving. Cut into slices, wedges or use cookie cutters. We don’t recommend cutting into shapes with cutters before serving, as they would allow air to be present when wrapped for storage (wedges, squares, rectangles etc are suitable for wrapping/storage).
Author: Megan Radaich          
Image Credit: Megan Radaich          
Publication: www.foodpreserving.org
Kaya Wanjoo. Food Preserving kaditj kalyakoorl moondang-ak kaaradj midi boodjar-ak nyininy, yakka wer waabiny, Noongar moort. Ngala kaditj baalap kalyakoorl nidja boodjar wer kep kaaradjiny, baalap moorditj nidja yaakiny-ak wer moorditj moort wer kaditj Birdiya wer yeyi.
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