Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Say Cheese!

The last few quinces were starting to look like they might go over-ripe any day, so this morning I boiled up some quince cheese or quince paste (membrillo, if you prefer). This is lovely to go with a selection of cheeses, or as part of a Spanish-style tapas table. I have a secret, unfulfilled ambition to hold a Spanish-themed garden party one day, but it's a bit too cold at the moment and the paste is unlikely to last until the summer (though it does keep well). We've got guests coming for dinner on Thursday evening, so perhaps I'll use some then.

Quince Cheese

3 quinces
675g sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Peel and core the quinces. Chop the flesh and put it into a large pan with 450ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the fruit is soft and collapsing. Liquidise the pulp and return the purée to the pan. Bring back to the boil, then add the sugar and lemon juice. Reduce the heat slightly and keep stirring while the puréed fruit begins to turn a rich orangey brown. Let it bubble away until it has reached a stiff, syrupy consistency. Line a swiss-roll tin with greaseproof paper and pour the quince mixture on to it. Leave to set completely, then cut into small pieces (this is very sweet!) and store in an airtight container.

Karl is at work late tonight, so for the boys' and my dinner, I cooked some Chicken Strips and Real Oven Chips. Quick and simple, with a few peas and plenty of ketchup for Christopher.

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