The Quince Diaries (8)

Last one I promise :o)

We call it quince cheese, the French call it cotignac or pâte de coings, the Italians have something similar callled cotognata, the Germans have their quittenkas. There's a Pakistani version called muraba and most famously the Spanish have membrillo. But let's forget about Spain for the moment and talk about Portugal. In Portugal they have marmelada.
Yes, the original marmalade was made from quinces. I know all this because Concha was kind enough to share her recipe for marmelada with me, and now that I have just looked in on her blog I see she's been kind enough to share the recipe with everybody! Muito obrigada Concha (that's my entire repertoire of Portuguese).

Now this particular marmelada is supposed to be white 'branca', or at least not white but paler than the usual red, and if you look at Concha's you will see that it is an apricot hue. This is achieved by not cutting the quinces with a metal knife. I promise I did not do such a thing, but  alas my quinces were going brown and I think that affected the colour.
I don't care though because the dark garnet colour of my marmelada is fab-u-lous.

This is the quince pulp after I had inexpertly peeled and cored the cooked fruit with my hands. I used a stick blender to reduce it to a purée. Yes, I realise now, that a stick blender has a metal blade.

The pulp is then cooked with lots and lots of sugar over a low heat. This drives off all the moisture. It can take up to an hour before you see that clear channel in the bottom of the pan. Can you see it? When you can create the channel it is done. mine took less than half an hour.

I poured the marmelada into ramekins which I had very very lightly oiled. Then I left it for a week.

Today I turned the cheeses out and sampled some.

With a bit of Cheddar. Delicious.

I stored the cheeses in a plastic box interleaved with greaseproof paper. They should keep like that for a long time. Dorothy Hartley in Food In England describes how damson cheeses were set in deep dinner plates, unmoulded then stored one on top of the other, covered in a cloth, where they would become crystallised and delicious with age.



  1. Wow that sounds really interesting. I love the thought of it with cheddar. nom-nom x

  2. Yum yum yum!!! I love membrillo and this version looks scrumptious too!

  3. I thought of you today, when I read Concha's post. So glad you made some - that's everyone's Christmas stocking sorted, then!

  4. Wow, Sue, your marmelada looks amazing! I can almost taste it through the computer screen. The colour is fantastic and the texture seems perfect.

    I'm SO glad you've given it a try! :)

  5. This is lovely stuff. I have a precious remnant of some membrillo I made last year and shaped in madeleine tins which produced a lovely shell pattern. I didn't know about the effect of metal though. How interesting.

  6. You made edible amber. It's completely beautiful.

    Damn it though, I'd give my eye teeth to try a little.

  7. Ooooh yum! Now I fancy that - no quinces to be seen up here though. Sadly the nearest Waitrose is 20 miles away and teeny. Might get my sis to pop in and have a nosy if there are any 99p bargains left.

    Looks delicious.
    (P,S We never made it to Watersmeet although we had intended too. We headed for Tarr Steps instead which was lovely.)

  8. another beautiful recipe, I have just looked through you archived food blogs and there are so many things I am inspired to make, love your wholesome fresh homemade ethos, am definately going to try the breadmaking.
    Thank you for sharing your recipes

  9. That sounds delicious, especially with the cheddar.

  10. What wonderful marmelada! They would not last long in our house.

    I have long wanted to plant a quince tree, and would be very grateful if you could let me know the name of the variety you planted? I am wary of planting one of the ornamental ones from the garden centre and ending up with disappointing fruit.

  11. Wow that looks great. Never heard of any of this stuff before. Must be living in the tropics. But what does it taste like? marmalade jam?
    What a productive person you are. Do your children eat all these things? I guess they must or you wouldn't go to all this trouble. Your larder and freezer must be nearly full. You'll be able to bunker down for Winter, get snowed in and not have to worry about supplies. You'll have food enough (and lovely food at that !) to last out the Winter !!and if the power goes off you won't have to worry about the food defrosting like we would here, you can just put it outside !

  12. Wow, I love your Quince Diaries. This was really interesting - cooking methods that I really don't know much about. Looks really yummy... yet again.
    Caz :)

  13. pati from london9:43 am GMT

    Sue, You are a quince-product making machine!!! Well done! They look scrumptious!! yum,yum .... Pati from London x

  14. my neighbour gave me quinces and i made jelly, membrillo and as a dessert simple baked quince- yum!This year i am thinking of growing my own quince.how big do they grow? Any particular species recommeded?
    They are such an underated fruit.Wish I'd found your website earlier1

  15. Hello Sheila, my tree is 10-12 years old now and I'd guess about 12-15 ft high. I don't think it will get much bigger.It is either Vranja or Meech's Prolific -can't remember for sure I'm sure a quick google will tell you all you need to know :o)

  16. This is very interesting. I grew up in Colombia and they make something very similar from guavas, and ironically also eat it with cheese. I've seen quinces at the farmer's market and never bought any. They're not very common here in the US, at least not in my neck of the woods. Thanks for inspiration to buy some and make something.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig