Membrillo is a Spanish quince paste. My version is made with crabapples, but uses the same basic method. Start by making crabapple jelly, then use the pulp from the jelly (the part you’d normally throw out) along with a bit of the juice to make this membrillo. It’s great served with cheese or spread on toast.
link to crabapple jelly post
Heavily adapted from Simply Recipes
about 4 cups crabapple pulp, pressed through sieve (plus some juice)
about 4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Start with the pulp (the waste) from making crabapple jelly. Press the pulp through a mesh sieve until you’ve got about all that will go through and you’re left with just skins and seeds in the sieve. Discard the skins and seeds and keep the puree. Add a bit of the juice from the crabapple jelly – the strained juice before the sugar is added.
Measure the puree and juice. Put the puree, an equal amount of sugar and a bit of lemon juice (about 1 Tbsp per 2 cups puree) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, covered about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it’s really thick and has darkened a bit.
Line a small square or rectangle dish with parchment or wax paper. Pour the paste into the dish. Cover loosely with a tea towel and put in the fridge for 2-3 days, until the paste has dried and firmed up. You should be able to lift the block of paste out of the dish using the parchment paper and have it keep its shape.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Should keep at least a month in the fridge Serve with cheese.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, largely because, frankly, it takes a lot of time to get posts together in the way I have been. But I find that I miss having a record recipes I’ve made and what I thought of them, especially ones I’m likely to make again, like pickles and condiments. So, I’m going to start posting again, but much more informally.
So, that said, here’s a recipe for Chili-Garlic Sauce I made recently with hot peppers from my dad’s garden. I’m not sure exactly what kind they were; he couldn’t remember. They looked a bit like thai bird peppers, but a bit larger and very thin-walled, almost like smaller cayenne. The recipe is a mish-mash of several I found. I think it’s closest to Tuong Ot Toi – Vietnamese Chili-Garlic sauce – but it isn’t exactly that. It has some funkiness from the fish sauce, sweetness from the bell peppers and a nice lingering slow burn.
You can use just about any type of chili in this recipe; obviously the results will be somewhat different depending what type you use. You can also add more sweet peppers or leave them out entirely, depending how hot you want it.
10 oz chilies
2 oz red bell peppers (I used melrose)
6 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp fish sauce
Mince the chilies, bell peppers and garlic. Mix everything in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour/scoop into jars and screw on the lids. (This size batch made 4 4 oz jars, which is the same as 2 1/2 pint jars.) Leave the jars sit out on the counter for about two days to ferment. At this point, you can process in a boiling water bath if you want to store them on the shelf, otherwise they’ll store in the fridge for about a year.
Filed under: Condiments & Pickles | Tags: crabapple, foraging, jelly, preserving
I’ve been keeping my eye out lately for public fruit. I really like the idea that even in the middle of a city, nature can thrive and provide sustenance. So imagine my surprise when I realized that the trees in the parking lot of the grocery store a few blocks from my house are full of crabapples. I’ve lived here for more than 3 years and never gave them a second glance. Honestly, they’re kinda sad, misshapen little trees, but they’re full of little crabapples. What more can you expect from a parking lot?
It’s that time of year when it’s not really summer anymore, but I’m still loathe to admit it’s really fall. The trees still have their (green) leaves. I can get away with short sleeves most days. But there’s definitely a bit of chill in air, and the beach doesn’t have much appeal. This time of year I tend to stick to simple things in the kitchen. Have a few last chances to just eat tomatoes out of my hand. Spend more time outside before it gets too cold. So here’s a quick recipe equally at home in the summer or fall. Something tasty to eat before you get back to denying that it really is fall.
I think I’m becoming my mother. When I was growing up, anytime we went to a restaurant, she’d find something that she was sure she could make at home and spend half the meal wondering how to make it. More often than not, all plans to recreate Applebee’s chicken smothered in cheese, tortilla strips and ranch dressing (or whatever it was that day) were forgotten by the time we reached the car to go home. But I still think of it as one of my mother’s defining characteristics.
No two foods are more evocative of summer to me than garden-fresh tomatoes and sweet corn. Both fall into the category of “available all year round, but why bother?”. Tomatoes go from juicy, tangy, sweet, vibrant and pleasingly misshapen to pallid, mealy, flavorless, numbingly uniform globes. The sweet pop of kernels in freshly-picked corn becomes starchy mush in the off season. The out of season versions just don’t hold a candle to the real thing. Put them both together and it’s like summer in a bowl. The kind of fleeting pleasure to savor while it lasts and remember (or look forward to) fondly the other 10 months of the year.
Longtime readers know that my dad is an avid gardener. I live a bit more than 200 miles from my parents, so I don’t get to take as much advantage of his garden as I’d like, but a few times a summer I head down there or they come up here. And I always get a few bags full of garden-fresh produce. It’s always more than the three of us can eat before it goes bad, but I try to make use of as much as possible.