Quince paste or dulce de membrillo

Quittenpaste, Quittenbrot, dulce de membrillo, Martin Fierro

Have you ever heard of quince paste? Here in Germany it is usually cut into diamond shapes and rolled in additional sugar. It is then served as a sweet during Christmas season, as another cool addition on the cookie plate. Quince paste, however, is not only famous in Germany, it is also served in Spain and Latin America as a dessert with some strong cheese such as cheddar or in some regions in Spain with goat cheese. Usually it is called “dulce de membrillo”, or in combiation with cheese in Uruguay it is also called “postre Martín Fierro”. The same quince paste is accompanied by some savory component: cheese.

Quittenpaste, Quittenbrot, dulce de membrillo, Martin Fierro

I do remember when we arrived to Germany that I found it very weird that jam could not be cut into slices, but was only found as a spread. I guess it is the Latin American influence, but to the present day I do enjoy a sandwich with jam and a slice of cheese on top. It is not as common in Germany to combine something sweet with something savory. When I served these sweet maple cupcakes with some caramelized bacon on top, I received quite a few stares from Germans. The ones that were adventerous enough to give it a try, said it was surprisingly good. I hope that the Lating American version of quince paste with some cheese will also make it in Germany, I really like the combination a lot. And if you think about a cheese board, which often has honey or some pears and apples accompanying the cheese selection, well, why not go for quince paste as well as a wonderful condiment?

Quittenpaste, Quittenbrot, dulce de membrillo, Martin Fierro

Quince paste is widely used in Latin America, cakes are filled with it, it comes with cheese and you can also eat bread with it. You may wish to try this quince paste in the Colombian yeast crescent or place a piece inside a pandebono, the Colombian cheese bread. Regardless of whether you are taking the German route and serve it as a sweet rolled in additional sugar or you use it with something more savory, I hope you do enjoy making this surprisingly easy and simple paste. I have come to love quince paste and get all excited when you can finally find fresh quince fruits in fall again.

Credit: Corumblog (in German)

Quince Paste or Dulce de Membrillo

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Serves: One small baking sheet
Prep Time: 30min Cooking Time: 2-3hrs

Quince paste or dulce de membrillo is made from the quince fruit and sugar and can either be served as a sweet by itself or goes really well with cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilogram of quinces, after cutting and slicing
  • 500 grams of preserving sugar

Instructions

1

First wash the quinces and rub off any tiny hair. Cut in quarters, take out the kernel and weigh only after having prepared the fruit. Place in a large pot and add a bit of water. Bring to boil, cover with a lid and let simmer for 10-15min, stirring occasionally until soft. Puree until fully creamy. Wait for about ten minutes.

2

Then measure 500 grams of preserving sugar and mix with the quinces. Depending on what kind of sugar you have, you will have to boil for a while until you have a thick paste, I usually only need to do it about ten minutes. Be sure to stir in between.

3

Line a small baking sheet or a regular casserole with parchment paper and spread evenly. You can either dry the paste a few days, however, I once saw mold and usually prefer drying in the oven as it is much faster and more consistent. For this heat oven to about 80 degrees Celsius and place your container inside for about two hours. The color may get a bit darker, that's OK. Once the top is dry, you can also take off the parchment paper and dry it from the downside.

4

You can either serve it the German way by cutting into diamond shapes and rolling in additional sugar.

5

Or you can serve it the Spanish/Latin American way and have some strong cheese such as cheddar with it and enjoy it with some wine.

Quittenpaste, Quittenbrot, dulce de membrillo, Martin Fierro

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