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    Quince Cheese

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    Quince Cheese

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 3½ hours, plus cooling
    • Total time: 4 hours, plus cooling 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes

    Makes: Makes about 850ml


    • 1.5kg quince
    • Juice of 2 lemons
    • About 1kg granulated sugar
    • ½ tbsp vegetable oil


    1. Wash the quince thoroughly and, if necessary, rub off any down from their skins. Chop them, skin, core and all, into medium-sized chunks and put in a large, non-corrodible saucepan. Add the lemon juice and enough cold water to just cover them - about 1.5 litres. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 3 hours or until very soft and a dusky, rosy colour. If necessary, add more water while cooking to ensure the quince cook evenly and don't catch on the bottom of the pan.
    2. Once very soft, push the mixture through a fine nylon sieve with a ladle. This takes time but rids the quince of any remaining debris. Measure the resulting purée and allow 450g granulated sugar for every 500ml puréed quince.
    3. Prepare 2 suitable 500ml containers. You can use plastic food boxes: wash in a dishwasher and leave to dry. Alternatively, use Kilner jars: wash in hot, soapy water and leave to dry in a cool oven. Whatever you choose, make sure it will be easy to cut or turn out the quince cheese.
    4. Put the quince purée and sugar in a large non-corrodible saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then bring up to the boil and cook, stirring all the time, until the mix is so thick that the spoon leaves a clean line when drawn across the bottom of the pan. This will take about 30 minutes. As the purée thickens it will spit violently, so protect your arms.
    5. Lightly oil the sterilised containers and fill them with the piping-hot quince cheese. Seal once cold. Store for up to a year. This is delicious with cheeses and air-dried hams but can also be cut into squares, dusted with sugar and served as a sweetmeat.

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