Quince paste

Step by step recipe:

  1. 3 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #1
    Wash and brush 800 g quinces, but do not peel, as the skin add to the flavour.
  2. 8 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #2
    Cut the quinces into quarters, then remove and discard the core. Cut each quarter into small pieces.

    Put the quince pieces into a saucepan, add ½ lemon cut into 4 and just enough water to cover.

    Note: From 800g of quinces, you should be left with 500 g of cut fruit.
  3. 20 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #3
    Put the pan uncovered on medium heat and cook until the fruit is soft enough for the point of a knife to go through it easily.
  4. 5 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #4
    After cooking, discard the lemon pieces and pass the quinces through a vegetable mill on "fine" setting.

    Do not throw away the cooking liquid.
  5. 3 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #5
    Transfer the quince pulp into a saucepan and weigh it (from 500 g cut fruit, you should be left with about 350 g of cooked pulp).

    Weigh 30% of this weight in cooking liquid (100 g here), then mix this with the quince pulp.

    You can add the zest of 1 orange at this point.
  6. 3 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #6
    Weigh 450 g granulated sugar (this should be the same wieght as the mixture of fruit pulp and cooking liquid).

    Take out 50 g of this sugar at mix it separately with the 30 g jam sugar.
  7. 4 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #7
    Put the saucepan on high heat and bring to the boil, then tip in the 50 g of sugar with its gelling agent.
  8. 3 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #8
    Mix well, bring back to the boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  9. 1 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #9
    Add the rest of the sugar all at once.
  10. 3 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #10
    Mix well, bring back to the boil and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  11. 1 hourQuince paste : Photo of step #11
    Pour into a mould or tin, lined with a sheet of cooking parchment.

    Leave to cool for at least 1 hour.
  12. 10 min.Quince paste : Photo of step #12
    Turn out and cut into pieces about the size of a sugar cube.
  13. Quince paste : Photo of step #13
    You can make the paste look more attractive by rolling the pieces in a little granulated sugar, but this is not essential.

Remarks:

This is a very ancient sweetmeat, particularly appreciated at the French court during the Renaissance. It was apparently a favourite of both Marie de' Medici and the Duc de Guise.

Source:

From gaston Lenôtre, but dedicated to Isabelle and Patrick who will recognise something of themselves here..

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