Sunday 27 March 2016

Slow cooked quince paste

I have been having a bit of fun lately with quinces. I have posted on making quince paste previously. One comment from the 2012 blog mentioned a slow cooker recipe so this year when I was given about 15kgs of quince, I thought I would give the recipe a try. I made two batches of paste and I still had about 10kgs of quince to use up! But a bit about that later.
I subscribe to Eat your Books,  it is so easy to find what recipes are lurking in your cook books and low and behold I found a recipe in Simon and Alison Holst's book 'Year-round recipes for crock pots and slow cookers'. Using a crock pot is so much easier than making paste boiling in a pot on the stove.

Slow cooked Quince Paste – Simon and Alison Holst
You will need:
Quince fruit
A large slow cooker
A mouelei or large sieve
A muslin bag for pips and stalks
A sponge roll tin
Remove any blemishes or damaged parts from the washed quince.
Arrange them in a slow cooker (I got about 5-6 pieces in my cooker, although they describe using a
5 litre cooker holding 10-12 sized medium fruit).

Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours – turning fruit once or twice if possible, then turn off cooker and let cool enough to handle.

To make puree: with the fruit cool enough to handle, squeeze the pulp from each fruit into a large bowl.  Gather pips and stalks and place in a muslin bag and tie off (it doesn’t say to do this in their recipe but I had problems getting it to set and recommend this step – the pips hold the pectin).

To make pate’: For each cup of puree add an equal volume of sugar. Return the puree to the slow cooker, stir in the sugar (and add muslin bag), then cover and turn to HIGH. Cook another
1 ½ to 3 hours (time will vary depending on the model of cooker used and the amount of fruit involved). Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking time to allow for evaporation, the puree turns from a pale pinkish colour to a darker pink/red.

Line a sponge roll tin with baking paper and carefully spoon in hot quince mixture, smooth out for an even thickness. Leave to cool and once cooled cut into pieces.
The paler paste is the first batch, and darker one is the second one. I cooked the latter a bit longer (actually I went to the movies and came home with it almost turning to toffee!) Both are very nice though. Henceforth I am a convert to making quince paste this way.

There are a number of tips I picked up to help make it set.
Leave it on the back window of your car for a few days, the idea being that the warmth of a summer sun will help dry it out and help it set OR
My daughters tip – place in a very low oven and bake for 24 hours – which I did for both batches!
It will keep in the fridge for quite a while, really lovely with strong cheese.

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