Hello sweets from Paulina Cocina! We are a lot and we recognize each other. And if they are from the quince team in the eternal fight of quince sweet or sweet potato, you are in the right place. Furthermore, the fruit is worth knowing because it has been cultivated for a long time. thousands of years and has been appreciated both for its flavor and its medicinal properties.
But we are not only going to talk and tell you many things about this fruit as an ingredient, but we also have a lot of information and a great recipe for homemade quince sweet.
About the quince
What is it and what is it for?
He quince is a fruit native to southwest Asia, belonging to the Rosaceae family, like apples and pears. The scientific name you are an oblong Cydonia. This fruit is known for its pear-like shape, golden yellow or light green skin, and sweet-sour taste.
It is generally a fruit that It is not usually eaten raw due to its texture and bitter taste. The flavor is unique and difficult to describe. When eaten raw, its meat is very tough and astringent, making it unpalatable. However, once cooked and sweetened, it becomes a exquisite sweet with a sweet and sour taste reminiscent of a mixture of apple, pear and citrus. It is widely used to prepare jams, jellies, compotes and sweets due to its high pectin content, which helps thicken and gel preparations.
It is also used to make “quince paste”, a very popular sweet in some cultures. The sweet has a firm texture and a distinctive and aromatic flavor, highly appreciated in various culinary preparations.
6 interesting facts
- Millenary origin: It is one of the oldest fruits known to humanity. Its cultivation is believed to date back more than 4,000 years in the Caucasus and Mesopotamia regions of Western Asia.
- Historical medicinal use: In ancient times, it was used for medicinal purposes. Its astringent properties were believed to help treat stomach problems, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
- Symbol of love and marriage: In some cultures, it has been considered a symbol of love and happiness in marriage. In ancient Greece, this fruit was given to the bride before the wedding as a symbol of love and fertility.
- Source of inspiration for poetry: It has been mentioned in various works of poetry throughout history. In Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey,” Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, is described as weaving a tapestry with the image of a quince tree to express her loyalty and love for her.
- Diffusion in Europe: The Romans played an important role in the spread of this fruit in Europe. They introduced it to different regions and cultivated it widely in their colonies.
- Ornamental plant: In addition to its value as an edible fruit, the fruit tree is also prized as an ornamental plant for its beautiful pink flowers and attractive foliage.
The quince and its different names
In Mexico, this fruit is known as “quince” similar to its name in Spanish. On the other hand, in El Salvador, it is known as “sweet alcayote” or simply “alcayote”. Although in some places in El Salvador it is also called “quince”, it is more common to use the term “alcayote” to refer to this fruit.
It is also known as “dulce de alcayota”, “ate de quince” or simply “ate” in some Latin American countries. In English, it is called “quince” and the paste resulting from cooking is called “quince paste” o “quince cheese”.
Facts about quince paste
To make quince with little sugar, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the standard recipe or choose to sweeten it with natural sweeteners, such as agave syrup or coconut nectar, which are healthier options. You can also use whole cane sugar or panela, which are less refined than white sugar.
Attention: If you want the sweet is firmer, you can extend the cooking time after you have mashed the pulp. By cooking the pasta over low heat for longer, more moisture will be removed and the candy will have a firmer texture.
It is a very popular sweet in many cultures and is consumed in various ways. It can be enjoyed on its own as a sweet or dessert, cut into pieces or accompanied by cheese. It is also a common ingredient in the preparation of Quince pastries, Homemade cold pastaempanadas and other pastry recipes.
The quince jelly refers to the pulp and the edible part of the quince after it has been peeled and cooked. It is a fundamental part in the preparation of sweets, since it is the raw material that is transformed into sweet paste.
The term “curd” in relation to quince can refer to two things:
- Curdling of the quince paste: In order for the confection to set well, cook it on a low heat and make sure there is enough pectin present, as this is what helps to thicken and gel the confection. You can also add lemon juice, which contains citric acid and acts as a natural gelling agent.
- Quince fruit set on trees: In some contexts, “curdling” can also refer to the process in which the quince begins to form on the tree and develops into fruit. This process depends on factors such as weather, pollination and the health of the tree.
This candy has a long shelf life due to its high sugar content, which acts as a natural preservative. It can be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry place to maintain its quality for a long time.
I say goodbye until next time and leave you with the recipe! bye
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Homemade quince paste recipe
Yield: 800 grams of sweet
Preparation time: 2 hours 25 minutes
- 1 kg quinces (approximately 3-4 large quinces)
- 600-800 grams of sugar (you can adjust the amount according to your sweetness preference)
How to make homemade quince candy
- Wash well and peel the fruits. The skin can be quite tough, so be careful when peeling them. Cut them into small pieces, without seeds or hard central part.
- Place the chunks in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Then cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes. Once they are tender, drain and set aside.
- In another pot, place the cooked pieces and add the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot, for about 30-40 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick and turns golden brown.
- Remove and blend with a hand blender or in a normal blender until you obtain a smooth and homogeneous paste. Place back in the pot and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes to thicken more.
- Pour the mixture into a mold or tray to cool and take shape. Once completely cool and firm, cut and store in an airtight container.