Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Alchemical Quince--this is too good not to post

If only our homes were so easy to transform.

Last night after reading a little more about quinces, I couldn't resist the temptation to experience their transformational powers firsthand. Using a simple recipe from the Joy of Cooking (the latest edition) I made Membrillo--the quince paste of Spain that is the perfect accompaniment to Manchego or any other strong salty cheese.


Peel, core and slice three quinces. Put slices in saucepan with one cup of water.
Simmer until soft (45 min.)

Puree the quince slices and return to pan with 3 cups of sugar. Simmer over low heat for 2 1/2 hours until mixture is very thick. Pour mixture into buttered parchment-lined pan.
Let dry overnight at room temperature. Cut into squares and serve with Manchego (or Parmigiano-Reggiano) cheese slices, sliced pears, nuts, crackers or anything else.
Quince paste will keep unrefrigerated for a month or more, but ours will be long gone before then.

This is an absolutely delicious and almost preposterously simple recipe. Just my kind. I see quince paste in my future. What could be more perfect for the holiday season than a square of sparkling red Membrillo with a slice of aged Manchego, (or possibly a Quebec aged cheddar?) atop a slice of crisp flatbread accompanied by a glass of Pedro Ximenez sherry?


modernemama said...

I love membrillo - you can also use it as a filling between two sand cookies or shortbread, yum!

S and N said...

Unfortunately, all that I made for this year has been devoured, so none is left for shortbread baking season (which begins tomorrow, for me, I think). Next year I will make more. It seems like a perfect Christmas thing--that colour!

My Notting Hill said...

Wow - this looks do-able! I like how you presented the recipe.

S and N said...

Hey, thanks. The visual presentation was to avoid typing--something I have never mastered. I'm glad you like it! Today I made Madeleines for the first time (so no memories for me) and they were surprisingly straightforward, too.