Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Quince Paste

Written by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin and Little Green Cheese.

Any Cheese maker worth his salt should be able to whip up a few accompaniments for their cheese, so I gave it a go.  I stumbled upon a quince tree on a nature strip when walking around a country Victorian town called Talbot.  I asked the owner if I could take some, and he said "Take as many as you like mate".  Nice man.

I read somewhere that Quince paste was a really good complimentary flavour that goes with most cheeses.  Having never tried it before, it was a bit of a gamble, but one that paid off in the end.  The flavour is sensational, and I would recommend this fruit paste to anyone who is wondering what to do with a few spare quinces.

I found a recipe from Taste.com.au and followed it exactly.  It worked fine, except that I added a full cup of water at the start because it looked like it was going to boil dry!  Pretty easy process.  Peel, core, chop, then stew.  After the chopped up quinces turned to mush, I blended them in the food processs whilst hot and then returned the fruit to the pot and added the sugar.

So that I could capture the long 3.5 hour process, I took photos at 15 minute intervals.

Quince Paste 091 Quince Paste 092
Quince Paste 093 Quince Paste 094
Quince Paste 095 Quince Paste 096
Quince Paste 097 Quince Paste 099
Quince Paste 100 Quince Paste 101

I just love the way it changes colour during the cooking process.

Then I lined 6 ramekins with plastic wrap and ladled in the paste, and when it cooled a little, we folded over the wrap to protect it as it set.

I left them on the kitchen counter overnight and we had some for lunch with a piece of ash coated brie and castello white cheese.  Unfortunately, these are not my creations, but tasted nice just the same.

The taste was great and it really brought out the flavour of the cheese.  A great accompaniments indeed.  I have found that it can be stored in the fridge, in the freezer or in a cold place as long as it is sealed like jam.

When it is quince season again (winter) then I will definitely be on the lookout for more backyard quince trees!


Mickle in NZ said...

I love quince paste or jelly with a creamy blue cheese (and blue cheese with a rich, moist gingerbread).

Isn't the aroma that spreads through your home as you cook up quince just wonderful.

Ilene said...

I have two quince trees growing in my yard from seed I was sent by a woman in Kentucky. I am looking forward to when they get old enough to start bearing. They're in their third year now. Quince is such a wonderful blend of apples and roses, to my mind. Last time I had some, and they are nearly impossible to find here in Oklahoma, I combined with rhubarb and made jam. Mmmmmmm.

Gavin Webber said...

@ Mickle. The smell was just fantastic, and it does taste just the best with a blue!

@ Ilene. Nice one. That jam sounds delicious.

Gav x

Queen of Quince said...

Your quince paste looks perfect! I love that you used ramekins so it came out nice and thick. About 12 of us enjoyed some quince paste I made last night with a wide variety of goat and sheep cheeses at a quince feast in Santa Cruz, CA. I also made my quince cauliflour au gratin and quince upside-down cake for dessert. OK, we used quince vinegar on the salad, too. Everyone, especially the non-initated, went wild. Unfortunately, the quince season is over in CA. Until next year, Quince on!