If this is the cheesiest title for a post I’ve done, please accept the fact that the following Spanish Tapas recipe will make up for it. And make you feel like a culinary god/goddess.
For those of you who did not get my [witty?] humor, MEMBRILLO is a paste that is made from the QUINCE fruit (see right.). In Spain, tradition dictates the serving of the quince paste with Manchego cheese, a Spanish raw sheep milk cheese. There are three Bubble Child aspects of happiness here at play:
1. Sheep’s milk cheese (the Manchego) is lower in lactose than cow’s milk, making it easier for you to digest.
2. Manchego is an aged cheese, made with raw milk, meaning that the characteristic of the milk and the processing of the cheese has also eliminated a large portion of lactose.
3. Quince paste is about as simple as it gets: fruit, sugar, and water. No gluten, no gelatin, no corn starch, no anything besides straight up goodness.
This paste eats like candy, but is ideal served with something salty and savory to complement the flavors. And trust me, the homemade version is not only easier for Bubble Children to digest, but tastes infinitely more delectable.
Thus, carve out a few hours to let this bad boy simmer, set, and dry, and you’ve got yourself a magical (and simple) appetizer for any gathering/solo treat.
4 quince fruit
water (about 1 cup)
2-3 cups sugar
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Inactive prep time: 2-3 hours
Serves a lot. (You get a tray of quince jelly. Do with it what you will!)
1. Peel, core, and divide the quince into 8 slices. Place in saucepan in just enough water to cover the fruit. Over medium heat, bring the fruit to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, lightly covered, for 45 minutes. Fruit should be extremely soft.
2. Drain fruit and place in a large mixing bowl. Blend in an electric mixer (or hand mixer) until pureed. Measure out how much fruit is pureed, and add in equal amount sugar to mixture. Puree until smooth.
3. Heat sugar and quince combo in saucepan over medium heat, stir continuously, scraping jelly from edges. Stir for 5 minutes, or until a clear paste is formed. Transfer to a pan that allows the jelly to be about 3/4 inch high, and let dry for 2-3 hours. A hard paste should form… that’s your membrillo! You can either serve immediately, or conserve in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Great with manchego cheese, prosciutto, and/or arugula. :)