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Author Notes: In my excitement about the Citrus Contest, I impulsively purchased some Seville oranges. Usually I pass them by because I know I don't have time to cook them. When I got home, I decided to use the quinces that were on the verge of languishing and the Seville oranges. Jane Grigson wrote about the combination of orange and quince in Spanish quince paste. I used the juice and julienned zest from the Seville oranges to flavor this batch of quince paste. The bitterness of the peel and sour juice make a lovely counterpoint to all the sugar and the julienned peel adds a crunchy texture to the membrillo. —luvcookbooks
Makes half a baking sheet
- Cut the quinces in quarters. Carefully peel and cut out the cores. Slice the flesh of the fruit into thin pieces. Wrap the peels and cores in cheesecloth and knot the edges of the cheesecloth.
- Juice the oranges. You will need about a cup of juice. In a heavy pan, combine the orange juice, quince, cheesecloth bag of core and peel, and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until the quince is very tender, about 30 minutes.
- While the quince is cooking, carefully peel the zest from two of the Seville orange peels. Be careful not to include the pith (white part). Slice into shreds. There should be a quarter to a third cup of peel.
- Remove the cheesecloth bag and put into a bowl. Press the bag to extract as much juice as possible. Return juice to pan. Mash quinces with a spoon. There will still be some texture. Measure the quince mixture and add one cup of sugar for every cup of quince.
- Mix quince puree and sugar in a heavy, large sauce pan. Add the julienned zest. Bring to a boil and boil, stirring often, until the mixture is very thick. Be careful because it will spit as the fluid boils off. When it is done, it will pull away from the sides of the pan and when you draw the spoon through it, it will leave a path in the mixture.
- Pour the mixture onto an oiled baking sheet and smooth out with a fork to about half an inch thickness. Cover with cheesecloth and let dry for 2-3 days. Cut into strips and flip over so that the bottom can dry. It should be done in another few days. If it is a very wet week, dry in a 175 degree oven for several hours.
- Roll in superfine sugar. Serve for dessert with a strong cup of coffee or a delicate tea--rose petal or jasmine.