Membrillo (Quince Preserve)
4 pounds quince, washed, peeled, cored and chopped
1 vanilla bean, split in two, (you can use extract, but fresh vanilla is preferred)
2 strips of lemon peel, yellow only
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Around 4 cups granulated sugar (raw sugar is awesome but it will make it darker)
- Put quince pieces in a large sauce pan and cover with water.
- Add the vanilla pod and lemon peel and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes. Test the quince and make sure it is soft.
- Strain the quince, reserve the lemon peel with the quince and discard the vanilla bean. Puree the quince with the lemon peel. Measure the amount of quince you have and use 1 cup of sugar per 1 cup of puree.
- Return the puree with the sugar to the pan and heat over medium until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Cook over low heat for up to 1 ½ hours, until the mixture thickens and has a deep orange-pink color.
- Cool and store in refrigerator.
The candy you see in Mexico (Membrillo) is made by drying the paste further in a low temperature oven and then cutting into squares. Enjoy the Quince preserves with some really good Spanish Ham and pungent cheese, and crackers.