I grew up eating homemade quince paste, and it is a flavor that I love. Here in the USA, you can buy quince paste from the Goya brand or imported from Spain, or other countries, and it is terrific, but it does not have the same texture as the homemade.
The industrial paste is generally more homogeneous and smooth; the homemade has more texture; you can feel the essence of the quince. If you want a smooth homemade quince paste, you should pass it through a fine sieve.
The color is another consideration. If you use ripe or banged-up quinces the color inside is darker reddish because the meat of the fruit has oxidized by contact with the air. I recommend using not very ripe quinces to privilege the taste, which also suffers from oxidation.
After you cook the quince, the starting quince puree will be yellow, but thanks to the slow caramelization it will change color to the traditional reddish-brown, and the flavor will improve.
Another critical point is that quince naturally has a lot of pectins. So take out half of the seeds before cooking, so you don’t end up with a hard paste.
The sugar-quince ratio is for each kilo of cooked quince pulp add 750 grams of granulated sugar.
In Chile, the most common way to eat the quince paste is with bread. My other favorite uses are in apple strudel, with cheese on a board or dusted in sugar, and served as candy.
Quince is seldom eaten raw with salt in Chile.
Note: I tried to make quince jelly with cooking water and leftover seeds, and it does not work out, not enough flavor left. So I will soon experiment with that recipe, but don’t waste ingredients and time trying to reuse that water.
You may also be interested in the recipe: Dulce de Leche Rice Pudding.Print
A traditional Chilean sweet treat.
- 6 quinces (a little more than a kilo)
- 750 grams of granulated sugar
- Wash the quinces very well. Remove all the hair by rubbing with a sponge. Cut each quince in 4 and remove the seeds of half of them. Do it one by one and place them in water immediately.
- Place the quinces in a pot and cover with the minimum amount of water possible. Cook; once it boils, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Drain. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove the rest of the seeds, and in the food processor or blender, make a puree (do not add water).
- Weigh the puree and calculate the sugar. Place in a large pot with high walls to minimize the risk of burns. Mix and cook over medium heat stirring. Once it boils, reduce heat to a minimum, cook for 15 minutes, stirring. At this point, it will be still yellow and a quince jam, spreadable.
- If you want a reddish firm paste, move to your smaller plate, minimum heat. It should not bubble. Let cook for 1 hour and a half to two hours until it changes color. Stir every 5-10 minutes, so it doesn’t burn.
- Transfer carefully to a pan covered with silicone paper. Let dry overnight. Unmold and keep refrigerated.
Keywords: Quince paste, quince jam, chilean food