Membrillo – Quince Cheese

This entry is filed under Preserves & Chutneys.


Sweet for my sweet...

The Spanish eat copiuos amounts of Membrillo with Manchego cheese. Over here, it’s less popular. You’ll most likely to see it gracing smart cheese boards where it goes by the quaintly old fashioned name of ‘Quince Cheese’.  Whatever, it’s smooth textured and sweet and works brilliantly well with strong, salty cheese.

Makes: 750ml
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hr 40 minutes
Effort Level: some effort
Shelf Life: 6 months in fridge

450g quince
850g granulated sugar
700ml water

Chopping board and sharp knife
Large wide based saucepan with high sides
Wooden spoon
Weighing scales
Food processor 
Vegetable peeler

N.B: The wider based the pan, the quicker the mixture will cook.
I have a confesson to make. I was supposed to drain the cooked quince before pureeing them but didn’t, so ended up with double the mixture. This meant I used more sugar – something I’m loathe to do, (just as well you only need a sliver) but interestingly, the end result set just as well and tastes the same. Maybe it’s better, because done correctly, the puree’s so thick it sticks to the bottom of the pan – meaning you have to stand over it constantly to stop it from catching (plus it’s liable to burn you as it erupts in the pan plopping and spluttering)  – and is generally a messy business. I’ll leave you to decide…

Here’s What You Do:
Peel and core the quince and cut into rough chunks. For ease, cut the base off each fruit first so they sit squarely on a chopping board making them easier to handle.

poaching the quince

poaching the quince

Tip the prepared quince into a large saucepan with just enough water to cover, add a few strips of lemon peel (no pith) and bring up to a rolling boil.

Turn down the heat, cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently for 45-60 minutes.

Let the fruit cool slightly then tip into a food processor and blitz to a smooth puree.

Weighing the puree

Weighing the puree

Next weigh the pureed quince then pour it back into the pan (it’ll be runny but don’t worry). Now add the sugar and place over a high heat. I use three quarters sugar to fruit. For example for 1 litre of puree, add 850g sugar.

Bring back to the boil until the sugar dissolves, then reduce to a gentle simmer for approx 70 minutes, stirring the pan every 10 minutes or so.

The mixture is ready

The mixture is ready

The mixture’s ready when it’s thick and dark orange and the base of the pan can be clearly seen when drawing a spoon over it.

Pour into sterilised jars and leave to cool.

Serve the membrillo cut into wedges alongside strong cheese, celery and crusty bread.

4 Responses to “Membrillo – Quince Cheese”

  1. Keen Cook says:

    Great results with the membrillo. Thanks for posting.

  2. Julia says:

    I made the membrillo and it was really thick and sweet, it set just the way it should and tasted truly authentic Thank you ( big sigh of relief) I only had a few quince and didn’t want to waste them! As usual I was not disappointed by the results. You get all the ticks.

  3. Vernon says:

    Solid information… Thanks for sharing your knowledge. It’s my 1st time to your website, but certainly not my last.

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