Monday, April 21, 2014

614. Quince Paste

Quince (السفرجل) seems to have been out of fashion for a while, and people have only just started to re-discover and appreciate it.

I think it's because of the fast-paced lives we are leading that we tend to prefer short-cut or instant food.
Instant, quince is not. It is inedible unless cooked. It takes time and effort peeling and coring, and it takes a fair amount of cooking to eventually become a paste. Six quince gave me two blocks of paste that last me over a year in the freezer. Although in the freezer, it does not freeze solid and is very easy to slice.
I love my quince paste on some goat cheese, but it can also be used just like jam: from bread and butter to tarts and sweets. I did not specify the amount of sugar because after you boil, drain, and puree the quince, you would need a cup of sugar per cup of quince puree. 


Fresh quince


Wash, peel, and core the quinces, reserving the cores and peels. 
Coarsely chop the flesh and transfer the fruit to a large pan with the peels and cores. (The peels contain most of the fruit's pectin, which contributes to the firmness of the quince paste.)
Pour in enough water to cover the quinces and boil, half-covered, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the fruit is very soft. 
Remove the peels and coarsely puree the quince flesh.
Measure the quince pulp in a cup and transfer to a saucepan.
Add the same number of cups of sugar as quince puree.
Cook and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. 
Continue cooking for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the paste becomes very thick and has a deep orange or amber color. 
The paste should start to wrap itself around the wooden spoon.
Lightly grease a tupperware dish or line it with greased parchment paper. 
Transfer the quince paste to the baking dish, spreading it about 1 1/2-inch thick. 
Smooth the top, snap on the cover, and let cool to room temperature then freeze.
Slice as needed and return to the freezer for storage.

 صحة و عافية

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