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Quince Curd/Paste


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Zucchini Mama

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 09:20 PM

I made some quince curd from a recipe on the internet but it didn't turn out the way I expected.
I wasn't sure how long to simmer the quince in the sugar and water. The recipe says to simmer until the fruit is soft and rosy pink, but the fruit turns pink when it oxidizes anyway. It was fork tender, but should it have been mushy? What I've got tastes good, but it's like a cross between a custard and an apple sauce--not what I expected.

It's also hard to tell what is fruit and what is pit with a quince. Do people strain the fruit after it's cooked?

This was an experiment, since I've never cooked with quince before. I'm flummoxed.

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#2 insectrights

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 11:13 PM

I've never made it, but did you leave the skin on? The skin helps bring out the pectin which will help the paste set up. And yes, strain after you cook. If you have a fine strainer or chinoise, that will do. Could be off on this, but I think that should do.

#3 Badiane

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 12:35 AM

I started cooking with quince last year...it's very hard to work with...all that fuzz and you can't tell what is what - hard bits, seeds etc. It's got a lot of pectin, so I would imagine any curd would be a bit jelly like. When I was making quince paste, I found that it really didn't break up, it was very applesauce like and I had to do some mashing, but after about 4 hours of cooking it was a paste. I would push it through a fine mesh tho...there are all kinds of nasty little hard bits in there that are unpleasant to find between your teeth (at least mine was that way)

If you are interested in making some other things, I have a number of recipes...quince paste is quite costly to buy - my husband and I figured, based on a retail price, that I made close to $500 worth in an afternoon for about 12 dollars in quince.

This year I am moving on to Fuyu persimmons...see what I can make with those!
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#4 bloviatrix

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 07:55 AM

When I was making quince paste, I found that it really didn't break up, it was very applesauce like and I had to do some mashing, but after about 4 hours of cooking it was a paste.  I would push it through a fine mesh tho...there are all kinds of nasty little hard bits in there that are unpleasant to find between your teeth (at least mine was that way)

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Try grating your quinces before you cook them - this is something I learned from one of David Lebovitz's books.
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#5 melmck

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 08:46 AM

I think the quince might set up too jelly-like as well. Definitely peel the skins, quince don't need any additional help in the pectin department. They are tough to prep, I peel the outsides, quarter them and then carve a triangle to get the middle out. Then I poach them. You could poach and use mostly poaching liquid and some quince to get a curd.
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#6 andiesenji

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 09:22 AM

When I make quince jam, I look for fruits that are just barely ripe, still some green at the stem end. Very ripe fruit does not have as much pectin and will not jell firmly.

I scrub the fruit (with a plastic scrubby or stiff brush to get rid of the fuzzy stuff), core, then chop very fine leaving the peel on the fruit. (Grating, as mentioned by bloviatrix will also work very well but quince is slippery to hold so be careful.)
I cook the fruit in just enough water to cover until it is very soft, then put it through a food mill to remove the bits of skin and tough fibers.
For each cup of pulp I add 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

This is cooked at a simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, the pulp will turn to a rose pink and as it cooks longer the color becomes deeper until it is almost red. Skim the foam off as it appears.

When it has reached the desired color and thickness (test a spoonful on a saucer)
pour it into a colander lined with cheesecloth or into a jelly bag and hang to drain.
This will give you clear jelly.
If you are not concerned that it is clear, put it through a fine sieve or chinois but do not force it too firmly or some of the fibers will end up in the paste.

This is actually a variation of an old recipe for marmalade - marmelo is the name for quince in Portugese - given to me by a friend from Sardinia.

Edited by andiesenji, 18 November 2005 - 09:27 AM.

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#7 ludja

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 09:25 AM

There is a lof ot information on quince cookery in this thread, inlcluding a link to an eCGI course on quince paste and other fall jams by jackal10.
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

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#8 andiesenji

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 09:29 AM

There is a lof ot information on quince cookery in this thread, inlcluding a link to an eCGI course on quince paste and other fall jams by jackal10.

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Thanks for posting that thread link. I completely missed it, I wasn't a member when this was posted. Beautiful photos.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#9 andiesenji

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 09:35 AM

For those who are enthusiastic about quince the following site has several interesting recipes.

It also has some other unusual fruit recipes and combinations.

Recipes from Tazmania
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#10 Zucchini Mama

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 11:10 AM

If you are interested in making some other things, I have a number of recipes...quince paste is quite costly to buy - my husband and I figured, based on a retail price, that I made close to $500 worth in an afternoon for about 12 dollars in quince. 

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Badiane, Wow! Talk about the golden fruit!

Thanks everyone,

Wow! Now I'm more informed and inspired. I did peel them, and I like the idea of grating them. I think I let them become too ripe, because they didn't taste acidic any more. However, I had some of my "curd" on a toasted bagel this morning, and enjoyed it anyway.

ludja, I'd love to make the jam you posted the recipe for in the other thread. Now I'm going to have to head to the market and find some more quince!

Zuke
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#11 OliverB

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:42 AM

I finally found some Quince at the farmers market and decided to make quince paste. Recipe is pretty easy, peel/core/cut quince, add lemon peel and vanilla bean, cover with water, bring to boil and simmer for about 40 min until soft. Drain, discard vanilla bean, puree everything else in food processor. Back in pot, add same amount of sugar, put on low and boil down to thick paste. Put in pyrex baking dish lined with parchment paper greased with butter. Put in very low oven for about an hour to dry/set.

Same recipe I find online.

But after an hour this was still very soft, top was somewhat set, bottom was soft marmalade. Back in the oven for an other couple hours, still soft. I finally ended up dividing it into two baking dishes, reducing height from maybe an inch to half an inch or a bit less. Back in the low oven and after something like 12 hours it's finally something I can actually cut into cubes. That's way longer than the one hour or so the recipe indicates.

Any idea what went wrong? Instructions are a bit nebulous, what do they mean with a "very thick paste" before I put in the baking dish and into the oven? Mine was thick as lava, even on the lowest setting of the stove splattering paste all over form the rising bubbles, if I had gone longer I think it would have just burned.

This is really tasty stuff and I have an other bag of quince to process, but really don't want to run the oven for an other 12+ hours....

Any ideas? I might just make quince jelly or just saute some in water and then add some butter to add it to a nice salad, but I'm baffled by the paste's refusal to dry/set. I've never made marmalade or pastes or anything like this, chance are good I did something wrong, but what? Add more sugar?
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#12 mkayahara

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:07 PM

You know, I've never made quince paste before, but I assume it's the same idea as any pectin-based jelly: pectin, fruit puree, sugar, acid. It's just that the pectin is being provided naturally by the quince. It may be you didn't have enough acid for the pectin to gel: did you add lemon juice, or just zest? You could add more sugar, but it's probably not necessary: 50% sugar is enough for the pectin to gel.
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#13 OliverB

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:12 PM

the recipe I used did not say anything about lemon juice, the one I found online does (and everything else is the same) so maybe that's the reason, thanks! Next batch I'll add some lemon juice, they can use a bit of a sour bite anyways :smile:
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#14 Karri

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:22 PM

As fortune would have it we just made about 10L of the stuff the other day for cheese plates. Exact same M.O. except that we boiled it on high for about a good half-hour. It is like a volcano ao be very careful. And it was also a bit liquid to our liking so we just left it in the fridge for a week. And today it was perfect. So I don't know why but the added time set it.
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#15 mkayahara

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:26 PM

the recipe I used did not say anything about lemon juice, the one I found online does (and everything else is the same) so maybe that's the reason, thanks! Next batch I'll add some lemon juice, they can use a bit of a sour bite anyways :smile:

Yeah, after I typed that, I checked in Ad Hoc at Home, and he calls for lemon juice there, too. (Two tablespoons for 4 pounds of quinces.) Give it a try; let us know how it goes.
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#16 OliverB

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:52 PM

funny, never would have thought to look in that book! Will do so this week, when I make my second batch.

Since we're on this topic, supposedly it keeps a month or so in the fridge, can you freeze this too, or will that turn into a mess?
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#17 mkayahara

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:46 PM

Truth be told, I didn't think to look there either; I found it through Eat Your Books.
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#18 Mjx

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:24 PM

I think the pectin level in quinces must vary from year to year: My boyfriend's mother makes this every autumn, and most of the time it is a no-brainer, but this year (and it's happened now and then, previously) it just would not set up. Normal procedure is to boil the stuff up, spread it and forget it, but this year she had to air dry it in the oven (very low convection setting).
We tried making one batch by just steaming the quinces, so nothing was poured away, but it didn't make much difference. It did finally set up, though.

On a side note, I don't get the use of vanilla, which seems standard: I think it muddies the scent of the quinces.

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