I first had quince paste at a friends house at a dinner party. It was part of the cheese plate. I looked at it thinking, why is there gum drops with the cheese. Since they were from New Zealand, it thought it was something they did. It is, except there are not gum drops, they are a delish fruit paste that goes fantastic with cheese.
Just like anytime you use quince, you have to cook this down in order to for it to be palatable. All the quince paste I have ever seen has been a dark red, I am not sure how I ended up with a pink-orange color that literally glows. Radioactive quinces perhaps. I kid, in fact, thanks once again to Elle for sending me quinces since I have yet to find any around here.
Are there any Seattle area people who know where I can find quinces here?
4 medium quinces (about 2 pounds total)
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
2 to 3 cups sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 1-quart terrine.
Scrub quinces and pat dry. In a small roasting pan bake quinces, covered with foil, in middle of oven until tender, about 2 hours, and transfer pan to a rack. When quinces are cool enough to handle, with a sharp knife peel, quarter, and core them.
In a food processor puree pulp with 1/4 cup water until smooth (if mixture is too thick, add remaining 1/4 cup water a little at a time, as needed). Force puree through a large fine sieve into a liquid cup measure and measure amount of puree. Transfer puree to a 3-quart heavy saucepan and add an equivalent amount of sugar.
Cook quince puree over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened and begins to pull away from side of pan, about 25 minutes. Pour puree into terrine, smoothing top with an offset spatula, and cool. Chill puree, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until set, about 4 hours.
Run a thin knife around sides of terrine and invert quince paste onto a platter. (Quince paste keeps, wrapped well in wax paper and then plastic wrap and chilled, 3 months.)
Slice paste and serve with cheese ( I love it with Manchego) and crackers.
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, January 1998