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homemade quince paste (membrillo)

Homemade Quince Membrillo


Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Room for Dessert


  • 6 medium quinces (about 2 lbs)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups sugar


  1. Wash quinces and remove any stickers, fuzz or leaves. Cut straight down around the core to remove the flesh, then cut into big chunks and discard the core. Place quince pieces in a medium-large saucepan and cover with the water and lemon juice. Gently simmer until the pieces are very tender, about 1½ hours.
  2. Drain the quince pieces. Pass through a food mill. Transfer purée to a large non-stick sauté pan. Add the 3 cups of sugar and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for about an hour. The mixture will have reduced slightly in size, will be thick and shiny and will be rosy in color.
  3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the quince paste so that it is approximately ½ inch thick. Smooth with a spatula and try to form into an even rectangle—it most likely will not cover the whole surface area of the pan. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. When cool, turn out onto a large cutting board. Fill a large vase or cup with hot water and have a clean towel by your side. Cut parchment into squares approximately 2” x 6”. Cut quince paste into same size. Layer quince paste in between parchment paper and store in a Tupperware in the refrigerator.
  5. Slice into triangles or small squares when ready to serve. Will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes