Membrillo (quince paste)
- October 2021
- Makes about 64 squares
- Hands-on time 50-60 min, plus cooling and overnight setting
Learn how to make membrillo, the Spanish quince paste. It’s traditionally served with manchego cheese, but also delightful spread on toast.
Make the most of quince’s short season by stirring up a batch of quince compote, too.
- Dairy-free recipes
- Gluten-free recipes
- Vegan recipes
- 13.5g (13.5g sugars)
- 1kg quinces (4-5), washed to remove any fuzz, then cored and quartered
- 7 tbsp lemon juice
- 800g caster sugar
You’ll also need…
- Fine sieve lined with 2-3 layers of muslin
- Blender or food processor
- 20cm x 20cm tin lined with compostable baking paper
- Put the quinces, lemon juice and 1 litre cold water in a large pan (one with a lid). Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Put on the lid and cook for 45-50 minutes until the quinces are very soft. Strain the fruit through a fine muslin lined sieve (see Don’t Waste It).
- Whizz the strained quinces to a fine purée in a blender or food processor. Pour into a large pan and stir in the sugar. Put the pan over a low-medium heat and cook, stirring regularly to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom, for 40-50 minutes until reduced and thickened. The quince paste is done when it doesn’t fall back on itself when stirred
- Spread the quince paste inside the prepared tin. Smooth the surface, then press a sheet of compostable baking paper over the top. Leave to cool and set for at least 24 hours. Cut into 2.5cm x 2.5cm squares to serve.
Don’t waste it: Reserve the strained liquid (see step 1) for making quince jelly.
The quince paste will keep for up to 2 months in the fridge. Slice and store in an airtight container between layers of baking paper.
The colour of the final membrillo will depend on the level of tannins in the fruit – some varieties have more than others – and its ripeness. For a firmer set, allow the quince paste to air dry for 2-3 days until no longer sticky. Alternatively, dry in a very low oven (50-60°C fan) for 3-4 hours.
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