Quince is a pectin-rich fruit that looks like an apple but exudes an intoxicating scent. In membrillo the fruit is mixed with sugar and cooked down to a thick paste that can be sliced. It has been made in Spain since the Middle Ages and is traditionally enjoyed with manchego, a dry sheep's milk cheese from La Mancha.
Making membrillo is an arduous task. It takes me up to 17 hours to produce one 20-pound batch (from preparing the fruit to constantly stirring the volcanic mass as I boil it, to hours more of baking). My reward is far superior Membrillo... even to Iberian imports. It has found great success in the fine cheese shops that now carry it.
Enjoy my membrillo with manchego or any firm salty cheese. Add a bit to meat sauces to thicken with a fruity note. A regular Farmer's Market customer claims adding it to her chili won her a chili cook-off contest!
Ingredients: quince, sugar, yuzu lemon, Texas lemon
Available in 1-pound loaves and quarter-pound rounds, see above.