I think quinces are magic. They start hard, fluffy and pale, but when coaxed with gentle cooking, they turn a deep, luscious ruby. Traditionally, quince paste is hard work, needing hours of stirring and the risk of hot splatters hitting your hands. But Jeff Brady’s classic Thermomix recipe makes it easy. The smooth, glossy quince paste that results is fantastic on a cheese platter or spread on toast as an exotic jam.
This recipe is an old favourite from my book In the Mix: Great Thermomix Recipes. Thanks to photographer Greg Elms and stylist Caroline Velik for this beautiful image.
I have an Instagram story with insights into this recipe, particularly the result you’re looking for at the end.
Makes: 1 25 x 35cm (10 x 14 in) tray
Time: 1 ¾ hours
- 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lbs) quinces
- 800 grams (28 oz) sugar
1. Wash the quinces, then peel and core them, reserving both. Place the peel and cores in the mixing bowl and chop 10 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.
2. Cut the quince flesh into chunks and place in the Varoma. Add 600 grams (21 oz) water to the mixing bowl, place the Varoma in position, and steam 25 min/Varoma/speed 1.
3. Remove the Varoma and set aside. Over a separate bowl, strain the peel and core mixture (you can use the steamer basket to do this). Dispose of the pulp, clean the mixing bowl and weigh the liquid and pieces of quince in the mixing bowl. Note the weight. Blend 10 sec/speed 5.
4. Add about three-quarters of the weight of the steamed and blended quince in sugar to the mixing bowl (see Tips). Mix 15 sec/speed 5. Cook 50 min/Varoma/speed 5, MC off, with steamer basket resting on mixing bowl lid.
5. Once cooked, allow the sticky mixture to cool for about 5 minutes, then pour it into a tray greased with oil and lined with clingwrap. Allow the tray to cool before covering and storing in the fridge. Once set, the paste can be cut into pieces and layered with baking paper or clingwrap in an airtight container. It keeps for months in the fridge.
- You can use white or raw sugar for this recipe.
- To assess sugar needed, weigh the quince and cooking liquid before blending at step 3. If you have 1kg (2.2 lb), for example, add 750 grams (26 oz) sugar.
- Keep an eye on your Thermomix for the first few minutes of cooking at step 4 to ensure it doesn’t ‘walk’ across your kitchen bench.
- If your quince paste is still very runny, continue cooking for a further five minutes. It should be quite ‘gloopy’ and thick before you turn it out to set.
- Quince paste that doesn’t set can be returned to the Thermomix for further cooking. Start with 15 min/Varoma/speed 5, MC off with steamer basket resting on mixing bowl lid.
- Quince paste that goes too hard and stiff can be reworked: add extra water (start with 2 cups), blend 10 sec/speed 6, then scrape the mixing bowl well. Recook for 10 min/Varoma/speed 5 or until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- I have an Instagram story with insights into this recipe, particularly the result you’re looking for at the end.
More about this recipe
- See more great Condiments and Dips recipes.
- Here’s a lovely recipe for pot-roasted quinces.
- Here are some fun quince facts!
- Some say Eve ate quince, not apple
- Ancient Greek brides would eat quince to perfume their breath as they entered the bridal chamber
- It’s a truly seasonal fruit, which is good in this FIFO (fly-in-fly-out) age. When it’s gone, it’s gone till next year
- Quince can play sweet and savoury – cook it with roast lamb, quince paste with cheese is magic & keeps forever