Quince Paste


Ingredients


3 kg quinces
white sugar
150 ml lemon juice,
strained
3 cinnamon sticks

Method:


1. choose quince which are yellow with a slight green tinge to them. this indicates that the quince is still a little under-ripe which in turn means the pectin levels are higher. Wash any ‘down’ from he surface of the quinces and chop roughlyat this point there is no need to peel or core the ruit. place the chopped quinces in a saucepan with 750 ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until soft.

2. Drain off the excess water and pass the softened fruit through a sieve. Weigh the quince puree then place in a deep, heavy-based pot with an equal weight of sugar. add the lemon juice and cinnamon sticks.

3. Use a long-handled wooden spoon to stir over low heat, then increase the heat and boil until the mixture turns pink and begins to thicken. as it thickens, it is important to stir constantly so the paste doesn’t catch on the base of the pot and burn.

4. once thick, pour the paste into sterilised jars or containers. Leave to cool before covering. If properly sealed in sterilised containers, quince paste will last at least 1 year in a cool, dry area. once opened, keep refrigerated

HINTS AND TIPS:




* You will needcutting board, cook’s knife, weight and liquid measures, a longhandled wooden spoon, lemon juicer and a large heavy based pot.

* A native fruit of Persia, quince are said to be the fruit of love. But it’s their alchemy-like cooking act that inspires many cooks. The raw quince has flesh as pale as a ghost and is so hard it verges on being inedible
yet it is nothing short of a culinary miracle that it transforms into a soft, rubyred, beautifully perfumed food.

* Quince paste is a delicious accompaniment to any cheese plate, especially suited to blue cheese and ripe brie.

* Quince paste can be served with roast pork or roast turkey. Or make a sauce by heating 4 tablespoons quince paste, 4 tablespoons water, 4 tablespoons port and the zest of 1 orange, season with a small amount of salt, strain and serve on the side

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