AUTUMN, CONKERS AND QUINCES -OCTOBER 2016
One of the joys of the manic fair season getting underway again is that I really enjoy seeing so many familiar faces. Working on my own as I do, I always think of my fairs as “days in the office” – it’s just that the office is in a different place each day, and you never know who is going to be there. I don’t have to stay away that often, but when I do I use it as a chance to catch up with some of my lovely friends around the country.
This week I was in Sussex for a couple of days, and consequently went to stay with one such lovely person - Caroline, or Auntie No as she is known to her nephews and nieces, is a complete joy to be with – she is an example of how to grasp life, her energy levels make mine pale into insignificance, she has a great sense of humour, and she cooked the most delicious supper too. Thank you Caroline. She also has a quince tree, and it is this which has provided my inspiration. Before I left for my fair on Wednesday morning, we headed into the garden and 5 minutes later I had a large bag of freshly picked quinces - look what I have made – Membrillo (Quince Cheese).
Membrillo could not be more Spanish, and is best eaten with delicious manchego cheese. Bizarrely “El Membrillo” is also the name of the area where our finca was in Andalucia so this recipe seems extra appropriate. If you have a quince tree at home membrillo really isn’t difficult to make, and it is scrummy. Maybe it could make a good product to add to the Fino range – watch this space.
Membrillo – Quince Cheese
1lbs quinces washed peeled cored and chopped - vanilla paste - caster sugar.
Place the quince pieces into a large pan and add enough water to cover. Add the vanilla and bring to the boil. Boil for 30-40 minutes, or until quinces are very soft. Drain the liquid and then weigh the cooked quinces. This weight is the weight of caster sugar you require. Place the fruit into a food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the original pan and add the equal weight in sugar. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, and until the quince paste has thickened and is a deep orange colour. This could take up to an hour. Pour the cooked paste out onto a greased and lined baking tray and smooth the paste out evenly. Put in to a preheated oven at 50 C and cook for an hour. Remove from the oven, cool and then put in the fridge - it should then be set. Eat with copious amounts of cheese!
To see which fairs I will be at please look at the Where I’ll Be page of the website http://finooliveoil.co.uk/where-to-find-fino-fairs/ - I would love to see you – but if it doesn’t work for you to come to any of the fairs, and you would like to place an order, then please go to http://finooliveoil.co.uk/product-category/all-fino-products/ and I will send anything out to you.
Have a good weekend.