Saturday, 11 April 2009
Yesterday I made Quince Paste, I've made it once before a long time ago and it didn't turn out how I thought it should have, (it was pale pink) I remember it as being a very long and tedious process. The recipe I used was from Elizabeth David's book French Provincial Cooking, and the recipe says to boil the paste in a preserving pan, ensuring you use a long-handled wooden spoon and to wrap your hand in a cloth because the boiling paste erupts and spits, and I remember that the paste spattering everywhere.
This time I tried a slow-cooker recipe, very simple, just put your washed, whole quince in the slow-cooker (mine took 5 large quince), put the lid on and cook on High for 2-3 hours, turning the fruit once or twice if possible. Turn off the cooker and leave the fruit to sit until cool enough to handle. Skin the fruit, and cut the now soft flesh off the cores. I put the flesh through my mouli (food mill) then measured it, I had 5 cups of puree so I added 5 cups of sugar, put it all back in the slow-cooker, stirred in the sugar, put the lid on, turned to High and cooked for 3 hours or so, and stirred occasionally. The last hour I took the lid off to allow some evaporation and stirred more frequently, until I judged it was ready. (when the spoon left a definite trail in the puree, which stayed there for about 5 minutes). I then scooped out the puree into a large, flat container which I had lined with baking paper and left it to set overnight. In the morning I put the paste in my dehydrator for about 4 hours, although I don't think this was really necessary.
The hardest part of making this was skinning the quince and putting it through the mouli, there was no worry about it sticking or burning, I think I could even have left it to cook overnight on Low and it would have been OK. The colour is nice and intense and it tastes good as well, but we don't have any cheese to have with it :(