It is commonly known as Quince paste, and is traditionally made with Quinces, which are like an apple and a pear combined. Quinces are kind of hard to come by in Newcastle Australia, and if you find them they are usually quite pricey! But you can make membrillo with apples instead and it turns out just as good. And the best thing about using apples, is that in most fruit and veg shops they almost always have cheap bulk bags of apples that have seen better days – dumpster divers take note! They are perfect candidates for this recipe.
Okay, so the first thing you need to do is roughly chop up all the apples. I suggest doing a big batch because it reduces down a lot, and takes about 2 hours to make so its better to make heaps in one go. I used about 5kgs.
Chop them up, you can remove the skins and core if you like, but its not necessary. Add them to a pan with an inch of water in the bottom. Boil them down until they are really soft and smooshy, mixing often so they don’t catch on the bottom and burn. Once they are very soft, turn off the heat and allow to cool for 10 mins or so. Mash with a potato masher. Push through a sieve to remove the seeds and skin. If you peeled and cored your apples, you can just whiz them in a food processor. Peeling and coring the apples takes just as much time as it does to push them through the sieve, so its up to you to decide.
Measure the amount of pulp you have and add sugar or honey to the ratio of 3 parts apple pulp, to 2 parts sugar, ie, 1 litre of pulp requires 750g of sugar. Pour apple pulp into a heavy based pan, add sugar, and mix over a medium heat till it starts to simmer. Cook on a gentle simmer for about 2 hours. I set an alarm to go off every 7 mins, and amused myself by watching aristocats. After about 1.5, 2
hours, it will have turned a nice golden brown, and if you drag a spoon along the bottom of the pan, it should be thick enough to leave a trail.
Get some little little saucers, or tea cups, shot glasses, or whatever you have lying around to use as a mould. I just used little green tea cups. Wipe a little bit of oil around the inside of the mould so that the Membrillo will come out easily after it has set. Macadamia oil works well. Pop them in the fridge to cool. Once they are chilled, boil the kettle and give them a bath in boiling water. Its important that they are fully chilled so that when they go in the water bath, only the outer layer of the membrillo warms up so that they come out of the mould, otherwise they might warm up too much and you will have a disaster. It’s a bit fiddly, but go slow, and you’ll work it out.
Once they are out of the mould, roll them in sugar – this is optional, but will increase their shelf life. Once rolled in sugar,bake them in a cool oven (150 deg. Celsius) for about 15 mins to make sure the sugar sticks. Wrap them up in waxed paper, and give them as a gift. Very spesh, and very delcious!!!