Quinces are one of those rather romantic fruits, it’s speculated that these fruits were used as an aphrodisiac in the early days and with its appearance one could see why. What I love about them is the fragrance and the texture. Quinces have a subtle but distinctive perfume and the grainy gritty texture make them unique. Furthermore it does not matter how long you cook them for, the grittiness will remain.
For me the romance is the fact that it’s so versatile and could be used in almost every course. In cooking terms it quite easily becomes the ‘ mistress ‘, as it does not belong to one eating occasion but lends itself to a few. Wow is that some food for thought?
The most common use for quinces is Membrillio, made by the Spanish and served with cheese. However there are so many more uses for the humble quince. Poached and served for dessert. Pickled or made into a jelly or spicy chutney to be served with meat such as duck, venison or game birds.
As I find the quince so intriguing it lends itself to serious experimentation. Along came this delicious but ever so delicate quince curd. It retains the fragrance and the grittiness but at the same time the velvety texture of the rich curd acts as a counterbalance and makes it unique but interesting. I used the curd to make quince brulee tarts; alternatively the curd will make an exciting filling for a Victoria sponge.
- 400g quinces peeled and cored, cut in to small pieces
- 65g lemon juice
- 125g unrefined caster sugar
- 4 whole eggs
- 75g unsalted butter, cold cut in to small pieces
- pinch of salt
Place the chopped quince in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook until the quinces are soft.
Drain the cooked quince from the water and puree while warm to a smooth pulp.
Scrape the warm quince puree in to the top part of a double boiler
While the puree hots up , whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a separate bowl.
Add the egg mixture to the quince puree in the double boiler, cook the mixture for approximately 20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Stir occasionally, do not over heat , as overheated eggs could cause the curd to curdle.
Once cooked, add the cold butter to the hot mixture and mix until the butter dissolves and the curd is left with a shiny gloss.
Let the curd cool completely, store in a clean jar in the fridge for up to three days.
Food Fanatic Tips
If you have a Thermomix you can make this curd as follows:
Cook the quinces as above in water until tender, drain the cooked fruits and place in the thermomix bowl. Puree until smooth for 1 ½ minute on speed 10, scrape down the sides. Add the sugar, eggs, lemon juice and salt, blend for 30 seconds on speed 10. Set the timer for 10 minutes and the temperature to 60°C on speed one. Once the time has elapsed, add the butter, turn to speed 10 for 1 minute. Decant the curd in to a clean container and chill until needed.