I was one of those people who discovered quince paste well before I actually encountered a real life quince. It came as somewhat of a surprise to me to discover the glistening ruby jelly like paste came from a big yellow gnarly fruit which is almost inedible raw. This transformation of the humble quince is part of the reason that making quince paste is such an enjoyable experience.
Making your own quince paste is also a massive money saver. I was shelling out about $5 for a tiny jar of Maggie Beer quince paste on a regular basis. The ingredients to make this large quantity of quince paste probably cost around $10 and once stored in an airtight container it keeps indefinitely.
If you have a Thermomix or Cuisine Companion making quince paste is a breeze. If you’re doing it the old school way in a big pot on the stove watch out for splatters. Whichever way you do it, this paste is sure to be the star of your cheese board.
- 600 gms quince (about 2 large quinces)
- 200 gms water
- 400 gms lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
- 450 gms white sugar
- 1. Wash the quinces (no need to peel) and cut into chunks, removing seeds from inside and discarding.
- 2. Chop for 5 seconds on speed 7 in a CC or speed 5 in a Thermomix.
- 3. Scrape down the bowl and add the water. Cook for 10 minutes at 100 degrees on speed 1 with the stopper or MC in place. If not completely soft, cook for a further 5 minutes.
- 4. Puree the mixture for 10 seconds at speed 10 in the CC and speed 8 in the Thermomix, then scrape down the bowl and repeat. The quince should be a smooth pale yellow-green puree without lumps.
- 5. Add the lemon juice and sugar then mix for 5 seconds at speed 5 in the CC and speed 3 in the Thermomix.
- 6. Cook for 20 minutes on speed 4 in the CC at 100c with the stopper out and on speed 2 at Varoma with the MC out in the Thermomix. After 20 minutes, scrape down the bowl and stir the mixture around a little. Repeat the cooking process three more times so the paste has 80 minutes total cooking time.
- 2. Put the quinces in a saucepan and add the water and lemon juice. Cook for about 30 mins over a moderate heat until the quince is quite tender.
- 3. Puree the mixture using a food processor and weigh the puree. Mix the puree with 3/4 of its weight in sugar (likely to be close to the 450gms in the ingredients list above).
- 4. Return to a saucepan and cook over a moderate heat stirring every few minutes for about 3-4 hours.
- Once ready the paste should be very thick and ruby red. Pour it into a baking tin lined with baking paper or tin foil. Leave to set in a sunny spot out of the way of ants. Stephanie Alexander recommends driving around with the paste in the back of your car for a week! Once set keep in an air tight container and it will last indefinitely.