Making Quince Paste
Having a quince tree has been a wonderful new experience. Quince is slowly making it's way into most every meal, event, dessert, preservation... well everything! This was my first try at making quince paste and I have been very happy with the results! Hope you enjoy.
6 cups water
6 cups sugar(give or take)
8 (2.5-3kg) medium whole quinces
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out
2 lemons zested
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp unsalted butter or coconut oil
Bring 3 cups sugar and all water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar (15 minutes). Wash the whole quinces, removing any fuzz, and add them and vanilla bean (pod and seeds) to the syrup. Simmer until mixture turns a deep red (about an hour), turning fruit now and then so it cooks evenly. The fruit may begin to come apart. Just make sure it is tender all the way to the core.
Carefully lift fruit from syrup and set aside to make Quince Paste. Strain out any fruit pieces that may have fallen off and remove vanilla pod. To test whether the syrup is ready to form a jelly, drop a spoonful onto a chilled saucer and allow to cool for a few seconds. The surface should set – push it with your fingertip; if it wrinkles up, it will be jelly. For syrup stop cooking before it sets up. For jelly, simmer a bit further testing until it sets up 10-15 more min. Pour into sterilized, warm jars and seal tightly while still hot.
Allow the reserved cooked quinces to cool before removing and discarding the cores. Purée the peel and flesh then measure the purée. For every cup of purée stir in 1/4 cup sugar. Then add lemon zest and juice. Stir together over low heat in a sauce pan until it all comes together. Add more lemon or sugar to taste.
Preheat oven to 125 F, or prepare dehydrator and line two 1/4 sheet pans or a roasting dish with parchment paper. Grease the pans with butter or oil. Transfer the purée to prepared tin's and spread evenly – it should be about 1/2-1 inch thick.
Bake or dehydrate until firm enough to slice (24-30 hours depending on thickness of purée). Cool, slice and store wrapped in plastic wrap, or fine ground sugar.