In Spain, slices of this sweet, fragrant paste, called membrillo, are served atop wedges of rich Manchego cheese as an hors d’oeuvre. Try it with goat cheese as well—or just put it out for breakfast in place of jam.
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Make Ahead Tips
The quince paste will keep for up to 1 month.
I've made this just about every year since it was first printed. It always takes me much longer to dry it to a cutable paste -- the earlier comment about quince varieties might explain it. It seems better after it ages a bit -- it firms up, and gets darker. I always keep it in the freezer because a batch lasts about a year. Hint: this makes a great little gift, with a wedge of manchego; people love it and it's such a luxury for them.
This is an excellent recipe. I have made it two years in a row now. The only thing that was different this year for me were the California quince (last year I used an imported variety). California quince was softer, and thus contained more moisture. I had to increase the time for drying in the oven compared to the time given in the recipe. It makes for a wonderful gift. Goes great with salty and strong cheeses. Thank you! The recipe is one of my favorite.
Very sweet, with a slightly grainy texture, like that of guava paste, but with a flavor all its own. I'm glad to know that this paste is freezable, because my husband doesn't like it (too sweet and stiff); I have to eat it all myself. Quinces are so fragrant, that the house smelled like some exotic perfume while the paste was in the oven, and for hours afterward. I think next year I might bake it in small, glass refrigerator containers. That way I can just cover the surfaces with parchment paper, put on the tight-fitting lids, and pop most of them in the freezer.
I made this recipe exactly one year ago and have just enough left for one more serving. It is the best appetizer ever! I prepared it as stated in the recipe and poured it onto a parchment lined jelly roll pan. I smoothed out the surface and placed another sheet of parchment over it to store it. I kept the paste in my freezer in this way until today when we finally finished it. I slice it in a long row and cut diagonally across to create triangle sliced the shape of my cheese. I keep a wedge of Spanish Manchego cheese in my cheese drawer to create this tasty treat when we have guests. I just went next door to my neighbors tree and got another batch for this next year. I am so happy to make this favorite dish again!
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