Makes ample for personal consumption
and a few Christmas presents
1.3kg/3lb quince - weight after
washed peeled & cored
1 vanilla pod split lengthways
2 strips lemon peel, no pith
3 tbsp lemon juice
granulated sugar - in equal weight
of the cooked quince mixture
Roughly chop the quince pieces, place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add the vanilla pod and lemon peel and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until tender - about 30-40 minutes. Strain the water and discard the vanilla pod. Purée the quince along with the lemon peel in a food processor until smooth.
Now measure the quince mixture.
Whatever weight you have in mixture, you will need the equal quantity of sugar.
Return the quince mixture to the pan, heat to medium-low and add the sugar. Stir until completely dissolved and add the lemon juice. Cook over a low heat for around one to one and a half hours, stirring regularly.
The quince paste will become very thick and will take on a deep orange colour.
(If some of the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan, don't stir this as you will end up with dark lumps.)
The quince cheese can now either be poured into moulds or jars and sealed with food-grade paraffin wax or if you would prefer a firmer block, line a deep sided baking tray with greaseproof paper, pour in the mixture and put it in a very low temperature oven (125°C) for about an hour to allow to slightly dry out.
Serve with a plate of your favourite cheeses.