Making Membrillo

As promised, last week I made membrillo with the quinces!

What is membrillo, you ask? Membrillo (aka dulce de membrillo, quince paste, quince cheese) is a very thick jam made out of quinces. Quinces are naturally high in pectin, so they can jell easily. Membrillo is traditionally from Spain, but other cultures have their own version of quince jam.

There are several recipes for membrillo online. I ended up using a simple one from The Daring Gourmet. All of the recipes involve simply cooking chopped up quince with copious amounts of sugar.

One of my favorite parts of cooking quince is how they turn red as you cook them. They go from a pale yellow to orange….

…to red!

It’s magical.

I forgot to take a photo of the final red-ness before pureeing the quince, so you get this gross close-up photo of half-pureed quince. It’s so red! How does it do that? According to Harold McGee (via FoodPrint.org), cooking forms anthocyanins. …but why?

After the quince are thoroughly cooked, puree the fruit (I used an immersion blender).

Then spread into a greased 8×8″ pan.

After letting it set for 24-48 hours, you should be able to invert the block of membrillo out onto a plate or cutting board.

My membrillo did not come out of the pan easily. I had to scrape it out of the pan in pieces.

It doesn’t look nearly as pretty as The Daring Gourmet’s did.

But it was still tasty! We ate the membrillo paired with the traditional manchego cheese and crackers. We even made a miniature bougie “charcuterie” board – very fancy!

Did you know that true manchego cheese must be made from milk of (specifically) manchega sheep who live and graze in the La Mancha region of spain?

Delicious!