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Dulce de Membrillo (Quince Preserve)

Dulce de Membrillo (Quince Preserve) Ambrose Little from Hamilton, NJ, US, CC BY 2.0

Dulce de Membrillo (Quince Preserve) is typically eaten with Manchego cheese, as well as being used as a filling for truchas de membrillo (quince turnovers), both especially around Christmas. Home made quince preserve is unbeatable and is nothing like the stuff you can buy in the supermarket. And you need just two ingredients: quinces and sugar. 
  1. Before you start, wash the quinces well. Place them in a large pan, cover them with water and bring it to a boil, at which point, drop the temperature to medium and leave the quinces to cook for 40—45 minutes, depending on the size of the fruit. 
  2. When the time's up, remove the quinces carefully and allow them to cool until they can be handled safely. Peel and core them and then cut the flesh into small pieces. 
  3. Weigh the quince, as you will need 80% of this weight in sugar. So for every 100g of quince, you'll need 80g of sugar: for a kilo of fruit, 800g of sugar. 
  4. In a large pan, add the quince pulp and all of the sugar. Stir and cook over a low to medium heat. Little by little the sugar will integrate with the fruit. It should take around 10 minutes for the sugar to completely dissolve.  
  5. Blend the mixture with a stick blender or food processor, then continue cooking the mixture for around an hour, depending on the weight. Stir from time to time with a wooden spoon (never metal) so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan and cooks evenly. The mixture will become thicker and darker as time passes. When the spoon will stand up by itself in the mixture, then you have the desired texture. At this point, if you require it to be still finer, give it another pulse of the blender. 
  6. Turn the mixture into a suitable plastic container, cover with the lid and leave the paste in the fridge for 24 hours so that it obtains the consistency and texture needed. 
Quince preserve will store in the fridge for up to 3 months or longer. For longer storage membrillo can be frozen well-wrapped for up to a year.

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