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Quince Paste off

Posted by Bee & John on June 9, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I'd heard of quince paste - who hasn't?  That red sticky looking, EXPENSIVE, stuff that people put on cheese plates.

What I didn't know, was that Quinces themselves are so cheap!  I found some recently for only $2.95 a kilo!  So.... I bought some and thought, what the heck - I can test the recipe and give the proceeds away at my demos.  What I didn't expect was that it was going to be SO easy, and so... so... SO delicious! 

The recipe I used first was from the In The Mix cookbook.  Peeling and coring the quinces was a little fiddly, but certainly not  difficult - neither was following the recipe.  Easy peasy.  The resulting amount of paste was amazing.  I made EASILY the same amount of paste for only $4.50 that I would have to pay $70-$80 for!!

It was grit free, firm (a little too firm for me... might have to stop a touch earlier next time) and incredibly tasty with cheese!  I am sorry to say that I will only give a small amount of it away at my demos, most of it will be staying in OUR house!

With that success under my belt, I tried the quince paste recipe from the new Devil of a Cookbook recipe.  All I can say about that is yuk!  VERY gritty, too soft and the taste was unplesant to me after the rich result of the In the Mix recipe.  I might suggest this recipe after you have taken EVERY scrap of peel and core off the quinces - but seriously?  Give this a miss.  The other downfall of the Devil cookbook recipe is that you can't cook as large a batch as the In the Mix recipe allows for with it's steaming first component.

Now, coming back to the luscious In the Mix cookbook recipe - It is easy, but there are a couple of very important hints for you to read....

HINT: In the second stage, you put the steamed flesh into the bowl with the strained syrup.  I found that after steaming, there was MORE gritty core bits left in the flesh.  I was SO sure I got it it, but nope, there was a little more.  Make sure you cut these little gritty bits off too.  Be careful!!!  don't burn yourself, the fruit is hot!

HINT: The problem (if you can call it that) with this recipe is that the colour of the quince paste is a little more orange and a lot less ruby red.  Although I haven't tried this method myself, I have it from several sources now, there is a trick to get that ruby red colour.  When you are at the second stage of cooking - you have steamed the flesh, you have strained the peeland cores to get the syrup, you have weighed it into the bowl and added the sugar - set the cooking, at varoma temp, for not 40-50 mintues, but for 20 minutes!  Then, let it stir on spead 5 for another 30 minutes without heat!  Then, start the cooking process again.  Aparently it is the old fashioned (to us thermy owners) SLOW method that brings out the colour.  I think with this method you need to allow extra actual cooking time to get back to the varoma temperature or you will get quince paste that is soft and mushy

HINT: the In the Mix cookbook says that the thermomix can shift while cooking so put the Thermomat underneath it.  That is what I did and there was no problem.  Would there have been a problem if I hadn't put the mat underneath?  Who knows, I would prefer to be cautious that an EX thermomix owner.

Categories: Easy Specialties, In The Mix1, Devil of a Cookbook