Quince trees are a part of the rose family, they are also relatives of pears and apples. This culinary gem in classical legend is the fruit of love, fertility and marriage. Although they may be hard to find to buy the quince tree is making a comeback in our region. The beautiful quince tree produces maginficent autumn fruit with a tangy perfumed sweetness that demands patience to be prepared in exotic sweet or savoury dishes.
This recipe is the perfect thing to make from the ancient fruit that allows you to savour the flavour of quince all year round. The quince tree flowers in fruit in autumn so you may know someone who has a quince tree abundant with fruit. Paul my neighbour has a variety of exotic fruit trees in his central Ballarat backyard, and he kindly shared his latest batch of quince paste and the recipe with us.
Quince paste or Membrillo as the Spanish call it - is a wonderful accompaniment to a variety of cheese, it lasts over a year refrigerated and you with have plenty of paste to last and enough to share with friends. Membrillo is most often paired with Manchego cheese. Manchego is a sheep cheese occurring in the region of La Mancha in central Spain from where the famed ‘Man of La Mancha’ – Don Quixote - originates. This can be bought in handsome chunks from Stockade Cellars Deli in Armstrong Street, Ballarat.