Have you discovered the amazing world of fruit paste? If not, Quince paste is the perfect introduction. This sweet, thick jelly sliced and eaten with your favourite cheese will soon have you hooked. Fragrant, sophisticated and textural, it's the natural autumnal accompaniment to any cheese board.
If you haven't yet heard of quince paste or quince cheese you might know it by one of its many names around the world, from dulce de membrillo in Argentina and Portugal to pâte de coing in France.
Wherever it's made, quince has one defining characteristic which lends itself easily to being turned into a sliceable cheese - it's naturally rich in pectin which means it sets easily in the semi-solid form once cooked. All it requires is a little patience!
We re-discover this autumnal favourite: how to make quince paste.
How to make quince paste
To prepare a good quince paste recipe, you will need fresh quince, of course, as well as sugar and fresh vanilla pods.
While the recipe is very simple there are a few points to note. First that the fruit is well washed and prepared by removing their "hairs", heart and seeds. Also, be careful when slicing the quince, the tough flesh can be unforgiving.
And, like many things in life, the best things come to those who wait. So, after mixing and cooking the ingredients, factor in the maturation time of your quince paste. For an optimum flavour you'll need to let the paste age for 4–6 weeks before using. But once made you have up to a year to enjoy it.
Once the wait is over simply slice and serve with your favourite cheese, like manchego. Or, try making a sweetmeat by cutting the quince paste into cubes and rolling in sugar, for bite size after dinner treat with coffee.
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