Quince Fruit Paste (Membrillo)

Processing: Boiling Water Canner 15 minutes
Storage: 12 months+

Yield: 6 cups per batch
           

A firm fruit paste often served between crusty bread and ricotta. Cut into thin slices/wedges or into shapes using mini cookie cutters and serve as part of a fruit and cheese platter. Delicious!
   

Ingredients:
12 x quinces
water
lemon juice
5 cups sugar, approximately
   

Simmer fruit until soft.
Wash quince and drain. Peel, core and chop fruit and place into a bowl of water with a few tablespoons of lemon juice added to prevent browning. When fruit is prepared, drain well and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree.
        

Make fruit paste.
Measure fruit puree back into pan, adding equal amount of sugar (ie 1 cup puree + 1 cup sugar). Bring to a boil, then simmer on low until very thick and ruby red in colour, around 3 hours. Colour will change from pale white/cream to peach to a rich pink/rose colour, then deepen to ruby red. Then turn the heat off and ladle into hot jars (for long term pantry storage) or dry on an oven tray (refrigerator/freezer storage).

   
Prepare jars.
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.
         

Prepare lids.
Place lids into a bowl of boiled water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.
  
Ladle hot fruit paste into hot jars.
If fruit paste is too thick, add a little bit of fruit juice and heat though fruit paste until hot. Then pack the hot fruit paste into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch (0.5cm) headspace. Remove bubbles, check headspace is correct, then wipe rims with damp paper towel then seal.

  
Process jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.
Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.
      
Next day: check for seals.
Check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months. Jar lids should not flex up or down when pressed.

ALTERNATIVE: Oven-dry and refrigerate
Spread fruit paste onto a lined oven tray. Dry on low heat in the oven to your liking, then cool. Cut fruit paste into portions/shapes wrap tightly in plastic wrap (or store in containers), label and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

    
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
  • Replace all or part of the cooking water with 100% apple juice, pear juice or white wine (ie Riesling);
  • Spices: add 1-2 teaspoons of dried cinnamon, ginger or vanilla;
  • Add 1/4 cup local honey;
  • Add 1/4 cup lemon juice or maple syrup.
          
STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOGRAPHS HERE
  

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