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?
I think it’s rather obvious at this point that I’m a big fan of pickles. It’s possible that I like making pickles even more than I like eating them. Possible, but it’s a close call. One of my favorite parts of making pickles is the waiting. You do all the work up front, but you can’t tell how they’ll turn out for weeks. Maybe someone with a bit more experience in pickle-making could taste a pickle that hasn’t been aged and tell immediately what it will be like in a week or a month, but not me. I’m not in a hurry to learn though; that anticipation is great. There’s always some chance that when you crack open the jar, it will turn out to be horrible…and that’s happened to me a few times. But it makes the times it does work that much better.
Late summer and early fall is probably my favorite time of year. Cool without being bone-numbingly cold. You still have the summer abundance of veggies, but it’s cool enough to actually use your kitchen. And it’s pickling time. I tend to make several small batches of different pickles instead of a few large batches. Invariably I have to cut a recipe way down to make the amount I want. I’m pretty much the only one in my house who really likes pickles, so there’s no sense in making 8 quart jars in a batch. I also tend to make pickles with whatever I have on hand instead of buying veggies specifically to pickle, so I never have a ton at once.
This is my second go at making sauerkraut. I think the first time might have given me a bit of false confidence. My first batch was a very straightforward recipe: cabbage, salt and caraway. It turned out beautifully, with a mild (but distinct) fermented flavor and just enough caraway. It was idiot simple (especially since I used a mandoline to shred the cabbage instead of doing it by hand.) Since it turned out so well the first time, of course I had to change several things the second time around.