Friday, August 3, 2012

Quinces, Jelly, and Dulce de Membrillo...

We were recently given a very large bag of Quinces. They were an old fashioned and extremely large variety, as you can see.

Quince is a fruit native to the Mediterranean and the middle east. The tree is a member of the rose family and has stunning blossoms.

Quinces were given by the ancient Greeks as a wedding gifts (as it was the fruit sacred to Aphrodite), and the Romans were fond of stewed quince with honey.

The Portuguese word 'marmalade' originally pertained only to quince jelly, the Portugese word for quince being marmel. In latin american countries the fruit is made into a thick paste, known as Dulce de Membrillo, thicker than quince jelly and cut into thick sweet slices which offset the taste of a decent Stilton or Roquefort perfectly.

So, laden with 100 pounds of giant quinces we set to work.. We followed a friend's recipe...

Scrub the outside of the quinces well, and add the roughly chopped pieces, seeds and all, to a large pot. Add just enough water to stew the fruit until it is soft a pulpy. 
sieve the pulp
If you wish to make quince jelly, instead of sieving the pulp, allow it to drip in a cheesecloth overnight, collecting the clear fluid (don't squeeze the cheesecloth, or you will end up with cloudy jelly). Add sugar to the clear fluid and boil until thick enough to set as jelly.

We tried to make a little of the mixture into jam by adding a little water and lemon juice to part...

for quince paste or Dulce de Membrillo return the seedless pulp to the pan and add sugar pound for pound. Boil whist stirring constantly for at least and hour, until the consistency and colour turn dark and tacky. Leave it to set into thick delicious Membillo...

Add the finishing touches, slice, and enjoy the fruits of your labour...


  1. The name is Membrillo without "dulce" and with chees is WONDERFULL


  2. Yep, can't image a hunk of vintage cheddar without an equally big piece of quince paste. I reckon you've been channelling the great Maggie Beer our own Queen of All Things Quincy! You are too clever tackling this, bravo.
    Millie xx


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