Friday, 24 May 2013

quince paste

my neighbour checked with me a while back to find out if i wanted her quince crop once they were ripe..last week they were looking yellow enough so we duly picked them..unfortunately some were rotting quite badly at the stem end and most were riddled with codling maggot tracts but to my neighbour's surprise i was undeterred..i put them in a bowl to enjoy the scent permeating my house for a few days while i decided what i'd do with the end i chose to make quince paste..i was keen to try making it again since the first and last time i made it was decades ago and i vaguely remember it not being a great success..

carefully arranged so the rotten bits are hidden from view

i made this loaf (with linseeds, chia and sesame seeds), yesterday
 especially to have with the quince paste

quince paste, la luna holy goat cheese and home made bread
straight from the oven

quince paste
tea with hazel


organic quinces 
lemon juice


~ cut and core quinces leaving skin on and removing all bruised, rotting and codling maggot infested flesh and place pieces in acidulated water
~ drain water and place quince pieces in a shallow baking tray, cover with foil, and bake at 190 deg c for 1 1/2 hours or until tender
~ put the pieces through a mouli
~ measure the resulting pulp and place in a large saucepan
~ for every cup of puree add 3/4 cup of sugar and the juice of 1/2 small lemon to the pan
~ heat the pan slowly until the sugar has melted and then increase heat to medium
~ stir regularly until the mixture is deep amber and the spoon leaves a trail at the bottom of the saucepan
~ spoon the paste into a shallow baking paper lined tray and put aside for 24 hours to set
~ cut into pieces and store in an airtight container or wrap in baking paper strips and store in cellophane bags


~ i baked my quince pieces rather than boiling them as is usually done on the premise that the added water needed for boiling would extend the paste cooking time
~ i used a diffuser under the saucepan to prevent scorching and so that i didn't have to stir the pot quite
as often
~ cooking time varies considerably but my quince paste took about 1 1/2 can take 4 hours or so
~ for a sweeter product add a cup of sugar to each cup of puree
~ the few quinces i had made 24 pieces of paste and, not including the gas and electricity, cost $0.03c/piece

next time i see my former neighbours (who planted the quince tree
about 3 years ago) i will give them some quince paste from 'their' tree


i'm so glad i had another attempt at making quince paste because it was such a satisfying experience..i loved the smell permeating my kitchen as i watched the magical process as the paste slowly changed colour from pale creamy yellow/brown to red amber..and i was so happy that it worked out well and that it tastes great..not too sweet with a bit of a it's almost hard to imagine that the paste was made from rotting and codling maggot tract ridden fruit..


  1. This looks beautiful Jane. Quinces are magical things aren't they? I have just picked my first (small!) crop. I am thinking about an upside down quince cake. But, your paste is tempting too :)

  2. Oh I love quince paste - your lucky neighbours! Looks fab with the bread and cheese.

    1. thanks's great to have enough to give away..and it was really good with the cheese and bread..

  3. Would love to try your "membrillo".Looks delish!!! In Spain they eat it with manchego (sheep's milk cheese).

    1. thanks wcd..thanks for the good idea..i must buy a piece of manchego to have with it..

  4. I am sure our ancestors weren't put off by a few coddling maggots...they would have seen it as "bonus protein" ;). After a long hot cook there isn't much that would survive ;). Aside from that your paste looks wonderful. Maggie Beer would be proud Jane and so am I. I have a friend with a quince tree and I might be taking a visit to see if she can spare a few in the next few days thanks to this wonderful post :). By the are the QUEEN of gorgeous bread!

    1. ha! i pruned all rotting and coddling maggoty bits from the quinces trts..there's no way i would have left even the smallest piece of infested took ages but the resulting paste was worth it..i probably only ended up with the equivalent of 4-5 quinces in the end so you wouldn't need many of you want to make a batch about the size of mine..if you do make some i hope you post about..and thanks so much for your lovely comment about my bread..

  5. Will have to try your idea of baking rather than boiling because mine was very dark and solid not the beautiful autumnal colour of yours.

  6. having now tried baking fruit for paste twice i think it's the way to definitely seems to shorten the cooking time..i hadn't thought about the colour but maybe it doesn't darken as much either..i'd be interested to know if you notice a difference in the paste using my baking method..jane..