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Manchego with Quince Paste

Manchego with Quince Paste - Manchego Cheese is produced in the La Mancha region of Spain. It is made from unpasteurised sheep's milk and is one of the more popular cheeses from Spain it is absolutely delicious served with Quince Paste/jelly and you will find this all over Spain served as a Tapas.

Quince paste or Membrillo is available at some supermarkets and specialty foods stores but of course there is nothing better than homemade.

Ingredients

4-ounce wedge Manchego cheese, at room temperature

4-ounce piece quince paste

Ingredients for Quince Paste

4 lbs quince

1 vanilla pod, split

2 strips (1/2 inch by 2 inches each) of lemon zest (only the yellow peel, no white pith)

3tbsp lemon juice

Roughly 4 cups of granulated sugar, exact amount will be determined during cooking.

Quince Paste Recipe

Method

Peel and core the quince and cut into wedges.

Place quince pieces in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add the vanilla pod and lemon peel and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the quince pieces are tender (30-40 minutes).

Strain the water from the quince pieces. Remove the vanilla pod but keep the lemon peel with the quince. Purée the quince pieces in a food processor or blender.

Measure the quince purée. Whatever amount of quince purée you have, that's how much sugar you will need. So if you have 4 cups of purée, you'll need 4 cups of sugar.

Return the purée to a large pan. Heat to medium-low. Add the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the lemon juice.

Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is a thick paste that stays together in a ball (this can take up to 1-1 1/2 hours). The mixture should seem stretchy and almost dry. The fruit will change colour and become a bright orange-red. until the quince paste is very thick and is a deep orange/pink colour.

Preheat oven to a low 125°F (52°C). Line a 8x8 baking tray with parchment paper (do not use wax paper, it will melt!). Grease the parchment paper with a thin coating of butter.

Pour the cooked quince paste into the lined baking tray. Smooth out the top of the paste so it is even.

Place the membrillo paste in the oven for an hour or longer to help it dry out. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

or cut out the final cooking by Spooning into the tray, smooth the top. Leave to cool and chill overnight until it is very firm.

Wrap the paste in fresh baking parchment, then over-wrap in foil and store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

To serve 

Manchego with Quince Paste 

Trim the rind from the Manchego cheese and cut into 6 wedges and place 1 cheese wedge on each of 6 plates.

Cut the quince paste into 6 slices; place 1 slice atop each wedge of cheese.

Simple and delicious.  Try it...

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