This recipe is not difficult but does take a number of hours to complete. I made a half batch which still produced quite a large amount that will take some months to get through. Thankfully quince paste lasts for a very long time!
The recipe states that a non-reactive saucepan should be used but what I didn't take into account was that the knife should also be non-reactive. I have a gorgeous knife that was made by a cowboy named Billy - an incredibly talented blacksmith who we met at New Mexico Farm & Ranch in the US.* The knife is not stainless steel and hence is very reactive! I didn't realise this until I started to see the quince turning black where the knife was touching it. Needless to say, I quickly switched to a stainless steel knife to complete the task.
To ensure the paste will set, it is recommended that one quarter of the pips and core (home of the pectin) are left in the mixture. Rather than trimming each quince and then measuring a quarter of the off-cuts, I found it easier to hack up a quarter of the quinces and throw them in as they came - no coring required. Then I simply cored the rest. One quarter of pips and cores sorted!
Something I was fascinated with was the look of the quince puree at the beginning of the process, which was so pale it looked more like apple puree. As the quince cooks it darkens and becomes the beautiful deep rose colour we all associate with cooked quince and the ever-popular quince paste.
My family have been enjoying the paste on biscuits with oozy Camembert and below is my preferred method of eating; nice and simple on a slice of apple.
*While writing this post I got distracted and visited the Facebook page of the New Mexico Farm & Ranch and discovered that beautiful Billy is no longer with us. I would therefore like to dedicate this post to Billy who I will always think of fondly whenever I use his beautiful knife.
|Lovely on a slice of apple!|