Last Updated on June 20, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Quince Paste – Membrillo
Quince Paste, known as Membrillo in Spanish is commonly eaten in Latin America and Mediterranean countries with bread and cheese.
Easy Membrillo ~ Homemade Quince Paste Recipe can be made at home – it’s a lot easier than you think!
All you need is a few quince, a very firm very sour apple that isn’t palatable raw and must be cooked. A few basic staple pantry items and this gourmet item can easily be made at home!
In many Latin countries, it also made with guava, where it is known as pastel de guayaba or Guava Paste or Guava Cheese.
How to serve quince paste?
In France, it is one of the 13 desserts eaten to celebrate Christmas.
In Spain, it is often eaten on crusty bread with Manchego cheese. It is a great marriage of flavors with sweet and salty in one bite.
In addition to it being often included in the South American merienda (tea time), it is often used as a filling for stuffed pastries – either with or without cheese.
So what exactly is quince paste? It is basically the consistency of a very solid jam. It is very high in natural pectin, so it jells quite quickly and easily. It is cooked until all the moisture from the fruit leaves and you have this sweetened intense fruit puree that can be spread onto bread.
Here in the US, quince paste is considered a gourmet product. You usually have to go to gourmet supermarkets and it costs quite a penny! So if you learn how to make it yourself, you will end up saving some pennies for the piggy bank!
It will cost three times as much to purchase it, instead of purchasing the few ingredients needed to make quince paste.
Instead of making it in one large dish, you can also transfer it in 2 small dishes like I did and that way you can give away 1 as an edible gift. This makes a fantastic holiday gift. Just make sure you wrap it well in plastic wrap and it can last for a few months in the refrigerator.
How to make Quince Paste – Membrillo
Quince oxidizes VERY QUICKLY. This is why the lemon is essential.
Homemade Quince Paste? You got this! Who needs a gourmet market when it is so much more budget friendly to make it yourself at home!
Don’t forget to check out these other quince recipes too!
Quince Paste – Membrillo
- 2 lbs. quince peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lemon
- 2 cups sugar
- Zest the lemon.
- If using fresh vanilla bean, split the vanilla bean.
- In a large pot, place the quince, vanilla bean and lemon zest.
- Add about 1 1/2 cups of water – just enough to cover the quince.
- Simmer on medium low heat for about 20 minutes, until the quince are very soft.
- Most of the water will have evaporated.
- Drain and puree the soft quince with 1/2 cup of water in a food processor.
- Measure the quantity of quince puree.
- Place the puree and equal amounts of sugar back in the pot – about 2 cups.
- Cook on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add juice of the lemon and cook on VERY LOW HEAT, stirring often for 45 minutes, until thickened and rosy color.
- Preheat oven to 200 F..
- Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
- Transfer the thickened quince to the oven and bake for 2 1/2 hours until most of the moisture is gone and it is quite firm.
- Chill for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
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