1. Wash the quinces, removing the little black bit at the base and rubbing off any downy covering.
Chop them and put them in a heavy-based saucepan or preserving pan with enough water to cover.
Bring to a simmer and cook until completely soft and pulpy. It will take about 25 minutes.
2. Push the pulp through a nylon sieve into a clean bowl. When you have sieved it all, measure it.
Put the purée into a heavy-based pan and, for every 450ml (16fl oz) of purée add 450g (1lb) of sugar.
Bring very gently to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Simmer very gently for 1–1½ hours until it is really thick; be careful as it can spit like a volcano.
You need it to be so thick that, when you scrape your spoon across the bottom of the pan, it leaves
a clear channel before closing up again. It also starts to come away from the sides of the pan as you
stir, forming a thick mass.
4. Brush straight-sided moulds, such as ramekins, or small decorative moulds, with glycerine
or flavourless oil. This will help you unmould the membrillo. Pour the mixture into the moulds.
Cover with a waxed paper disc, or pour over some melted food-grade paraffin wax.
Source: Salt Sugar Smoke by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley)
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