Quince Jelly & Membrillo

Another preserve to add to our christmas gifts! We have loads of quinces knocking about so what better way to use it than make a lovely jelly to go with some cheese, yum.

When you make quince jelly you only use the juice you get from boiling your quinces for a couple of hours and you’re left with a gorgeous rose-coloured liquid which should set into a jelly. With the remaining flesh of the quince we have made Membrillo (quince cheese), or quince paste, which is traditionally a Spanish or Italian honeyed jelly which is sliced and served with manchego cheese. Sounds great to us.

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This is quite a messy process but the it’s totally worth it – we were very unsure to begin with as to what it would be like, or if we were even doing it right but we were soo happy with the end results!

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The jelly is pretty easy to make and you can stop there if you want, but we felt it was a shame to throw away all the pulp so we made membrillo too. Once you’ve strained the boiling liquid and transfer it to a pan you’ll have a yellowy sort of clear water, add your sugar and let it simmer. It will eventually turn a really nice colour, you may need to scrap off some of the scum from the top every now and again but the jelly sets nicely and is beautiful and clear.

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The membrillo on the other hand takes a lot longer. You begin with this very bitter/sour mush which you’re a bit unsure of and we decided to fish the seeds out (we left them in for the pectin) which was slightly fiddly – then once we blended it, it was a yellowy-greenish baby food sort or goo and didn’t smell all the best. But we carried on, added the sugar and let it simmer for 2-3 hours stirring every now and again so it didn’t burn to the bottom of the pan. The paste went through a deep green phase and just as we were getting impatient it started turning a really deep red wine colour and tasted delicious!

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Quince Jelly & Membrillo
Use both the boiling liquid and the pulp to great a jelly & a paste!
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5kg quince
  2. 1.75L water
  3. 1 lemon, rind & juice
  4. 750g + 400g granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Half the quinces and boil in the water until they are a mushy pulp
  2. Strain the quince pulp from the juices using muslin or a tea towel, you should get about 1500ml of quince 'juice'.
  3. Set the pulp aside and add 750g of sugar to the juice, leave to boil till it reaches around 104C/218F and a rosey honey coloured liquid.
  4. Pour into sterilised jars and leave to cool.
Membrillo
  1. Puree the quince pulp in a food processor till it's as smooth as you can get it.
  2. Heat in a pan with 400g sugar for about 2 hours and it's a deep reddy colour.
  3. Pour into a lined baking tray and leave to set in the fridge over night.
Notes
  1. You can also add some spices - star anise in the boiling water would be good, or maybe some all spice in the membrillo!
Baking a Mess http://www.bakingamess.co.uk/
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