The fruit lady at Moseley Farmers’ Market still had some quince left. They had a little fuzz of mould growing on them and the bletting had given them a strong, sickly sweet aroma. The excellent River Cottage preserves handbook has a guide to making quince cheese, what the Spanish call membrillo, so I thought I’d give it a go in time for Xmas.
The recipe couldn’t be simpler – take your quince (I had about 1kg), wash and chop them roughly, no need to peel or deseed. Add just enough water to cover, bring to boil and simmer until they start to fall apart. Then leave them to cool for a couple of hours. Strain them and rub them through a sieve – this bit is fairly hard work, a mouli would probably be easier. Then weigh the sieved pulp and add the same amount of granulated white sugar. Bring to the boil, stir to melt all the sugar and then simmer for an hour until the cheese goes dark brown and becomes thick. Then add to jars (or shallow trays) – I used Kilner jars. Leave for at least a month for the flavour to mature. Serve with lots of cheese!