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.
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?
There’s a white mulberry tree a few blocks from my house. It’s in the yard in front of an apartment building and every year it drops tons of berries on the ground, but no one seems to pick any of them. I’ve been walking past it on my way to and from work every day for more than three years now. It took me while to think “Hey, those berries look edible. If no one else is using them, I should.” Then it took me a while longer to indentify the tree. (I may be foolish, but not so foolish to eat unknown berries from an unknown tree.) I finally got a positive ID on the tree last fall, just in time for the tree to stop growing berries for the year. So this spring when it started growing berries, I was determined to pick some.