Quince cheese

Quince cheese

By
From
Gather
Makes
3–4 large jam jars
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

Quince cheese is one of my favourite things to make with this fragrant fruit, preserving all amazing texture and perfume for months to come. The cheese has the most enchanting deep-red colour, a result of the slow and gentle cooking process. It makes a delicious accompaniment to actual cheese, especially (and famously) Spanish manchego, or a ripe, blue-veined cheese, or a soft goat’s or sheep’s cheese. You can also try it with roast meats, such as pheasant or chicken, or with baked ham. I quite often melt a spoonful into gravy to give it a fruity sweetness.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg quince, roughly chopped
500g granulated sugar

Method

  1. Place the fruit into a large heavy-based saucepan or preserving pan and cover with water, so that the waterline sits a few centimetres/ an inch or so above the line of the fruit. Place the pan on a high heat and bring the water up to a simmer. Place the lid on the pan, turn down the heat and simmer for about 60 minutes, until the fruit is soft and broken down and you’re left with something approaching a fruit pulp. (If you don’t have a lid, don’t worry – just keep an eye on the amount of water in the pan and top up if you need to.)
  2. Once the fruit is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to stand for 30 minutes or so. Then, place a sturdy sieve over a bowl and tip the pulp out of the pan into the sieve. Use the back of a ladle to force the pulp through the sieve into the bowl. Alternatively, you can put the pulp through a mouli, if you have one.
  3. Weigh the contents of the bowl and add two-thirds of that weight in granulated sugar. Clean the cooking pan, and then return the sweetened quince mixture to it. Set it over a medium heat and bring it up to a simmer, stirring or whisking regularly for about 60 minutes or more, until the mixture has thickened so that a wooden spoon dragged through it reveals the base of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture comes together again. It may begin to bubble, but keep stirring and it won’t burn. Don’t rush.
  4. Pour the quince into sterilized jars and seal. Store in a cool place (it will keep for several months) until you’re ready to use it.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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