Quince Cheese

Makes about 900g- small quince rounds are usually around 120g each

Ingredients

1.3kg quinces

juice of a lemon- might like to use the zest also (reduce if you use fewer quinces)

granulated sugar- see ratio below

caster sugar for dusting- optional

Making:

  •  Wash quinces then chop into fine slices or small cubes and place in a large pan.
  •  Pour enough water to nearly cover the fruit, cover with a lid or foil and simmer for 45 minutes or until the fruit is very tender.
  •  Press the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. (see tip below)
  •  Measure the puree into a large heavy based pan and add 400g sugar for every 600ml of mixture.
  •  Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Increase the heat and cook slowly for about 40-50 minutes stirring frequently until very thick.  (Recipes talk about being able to stand the spoon up in it)  It will darken as it cooks.
  • Pour the mixture into a small oiled baking tin (or whatever you want to use) and leave to set for 24 hours.
  • Cut into squares, dust with sugar and store in an airtight tin.  (I think this presumes you are going to use immediately)  
  • If you have used individual containers then you just leave and wrap in fancy paper for a present.  Small, smooth sided, plastic containers that can take heat are useful.  Even better if they come with a lid. 

Tips:

  • Some recipes pour off the excess liquid and use that to make Quince jelly and then sieve the pulp for the cheese.
  • I think I would only dust when you are serving otherwise it will simply soak in…
  • Instead of setting the cheese and cutting into squares, some recipes recommend simply spooning the mixture into warmed sterilized straight sided jars.  Seal and label, then store for 2-3 months in a cool dark place to dry slightly before eating.
  • Keeps for a year if airtight.  I kept mine in the jelly moulds until I wanted to turn it out and had wrapped it in baking foil.  You might find it useful to place on a piece of card to keep the shape firm.

Elizabeth Highton

September 2011

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