Recipe : Membrillo
Quinces are still available at the local farmers' markets and a great way to eat them is as membrillo.
Although I'd never tasted it before, pictures of this reddish jelly-like paste drew me in. It just looks so exotic and exciting! (Okay, maybe I don't get out enough.)
At any rate, the recipe for membrillo couldn't be any easier and, when its sweetness is combined with the saltiness of prosciutto and manchego, the results of that recipe couldn't be tastier.
1 kg quince
600 g sugar
1 T. balsamic vinegar
Peel, core, dice the quince, and place all the pieces in a medium-sized pot. Cover the fruit with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer the quince until very soft, about 30 minutes.
Drain the quince and puree it in a blender or food processor (please remember to be careful when pureeing the hot fruit!).
Weigh the fruit puree and then return it to the pot. Add an equal weight of sugar and cook over low heat until a thick paste is formed, anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar. (The longer you cook it, the redder it gets. The batch I made was cooked for about an hour and is only reddish brown.)
Pour the paste into a greased mould (I used an 8 x 8 baking dish) and let it cure overnight.
Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and then store the membrillo in the fridge.