Every year, in early November, quince fruit is in season. This is what it looks like:
What shall we make of all this quince? On my end, I’m changing up the usual condiment of “cranberry sauce” served with Thanksgiving turkey. Instead, I’ll make Quince Preserves. In Spanish, this is known as dulce de membrillo. The Spaniards have long been experts at making dulce de membrillo . Of course, they didn’t get the turkey until after Columbus went back and forth a few times from America to Europe.
However, we’ve got both the bird and the quince. Delight and surprise your guests this year when you serve Quince Preserves alongside that yummy turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!
Active prep time: 40 minutes (for cooking the quinces) & 45 minutes (for cooking the strained fruit with sugar)
Inactive prep time: 45 minutes (cooling time)
Makes: 1 to 1-1/2 cups preserves
3 large quinces
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups organic, granulated, unbleached sugar
1. Place quinces in a 5 to 6-quart sauce pot, covered with cold water.
2. Cover sauce pot and bring quinces to a boil.
3. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the quinces are tender – test by inserting a pointed knife into center of one fruit.
4. When tender, drain and cool the quinces for about 45 minutes.
5. When quinces are completely cool, peel and quarter them.
6. Remove seeds and finely grind the quince fruit in a food processor.
7. Transfer the processed quince pulp through a sieve.
8. Place the strained quince pulp in a heavy-bottomed skillet or sauce pot.
9. Add 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups sugar to the quince pulp in skillet or sauce pot and mix with a wooden spoon.
10. Cook the quince-sugar mixture over lowest heat setting for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it becomes thickened.
11. Pour the quince paste into a heatproof glass jar or bowl and cool. Serve or cover tightly and refrigerate.
Note: Quince paste keeps for 2 to 3 weeks in refrigerator. Serve with turkey. Alternatively, as an appetizer, quince paste can be served alongside cheese and wine.
Text and Photograph ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real