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Quince Cheese

Fruit Cheese is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit puree, cooked into a solid, sliceable preserve which is often served alongside cheese, or cut into cubes, rolled in sugar and served as a sweetmeat. Many autumn fruits can be used to make fruit cheeses, with crab apples, damsons and the wonderfully fragrant quince fruit being popular choices.

 

Fruit Cheese is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit purée, cooked into a solid, sliceable preserve which is often served alongside cheese, or cut into cubes, rolled in sugar and served as a sweetmeat. Many autumn fruits can be used to make fruit cheeses, with crab apples, damsons and the wonderfully fragrant quince fruit being popular choices.

 

The traditional method for making a fruit cheese would be to simply wash and chop up your whole fruit, cook with a little water to a puree, which you would then pass through a sieve, before adding an equal weight of sugar. Having spent hours trying to sieve fruit puree in the past I decided to take the more convenient approach of peeling and coring my fruit before cooking, so that I could simply puree my fruit with a handheld blender once it was ready.

I used about a kilo of fruit, juice of 2 lemons and about 750g of caster sugar.

Fruit Cheese is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit purée, cooked into a solid, sliceable preserve which is often served alongside cheese, or cut into cubes, rolled in sugar and served as a sweetmeat. Many autumn fruits can be used to make fruit cheeses, with crab apples, damsons and the wonderfully fragrant quince fruit being popular choices.

 

You can see from my photo that the quince fruit browns very quickly after cutting - even when you toss it in lemon juice which I had done here.

Fruit Cheese is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit purée, cooked into a solid, sliceable preserve which is often served alongside cheese, or cut into cubes, rolled in sugar and served as a sweetmeat. Many autumn fruits can be used to make fruit cheeses, with crab apples, damsons and the wonderfully fragrant quince fruit being popular choices.

 

Although most recipes call for you to use an equal weight of puree and sugar, I reduced ours by about 25% as I prefer my finished product to be a little less sweet. Add the sugar to your puree and cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, at which point you have two choices. The first is to continue to cook, stirring frequently until the paste darkens and becomes so thick that you can see the base of the pan for a couple of seconds after you have passed the spoon across it (this will take a good hour or so). This is the method to use if you want set your fruit cheese in a mould or jar.

Fruit Cheese is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit purée, cooked into a solid, sliceable preserve which is often served alongside cheese, or cut into cubes, rolled in sugar and served as a sweetmeat. Many autumn fruits can be used to make fruit cheeses, with crab apples, damsons and the wonderfully fragrant quince fruit being popular choices.

 

I use an alternative method as I have an Aga which is always on, so for me it makes much more sense to finish it in the oven. I lined a brownie tin with cling film, spooned my puree in and stuck it in my cool oven which runs at about 130C. I gave my mixture about an hour in there at which point it was firm to touch on top, so I removed it and flipped it over onto a fresh piece of cling film and returned it to the oven for another 30 minutes or so to give the underneath a chance to firm up. As you can see our quince cheese developed a beautiful dark red colour during this time. Once your quince cheese is firm to touch leave to cool and finish setting before cutting.

Fruit Cheese is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit purée, cooked into a solid, sliceable preserve which is often served alongside cheese, or cut into cubes, rolled in sugar and served as a sweetmeat. Many autumn fruits can be used to make fruit cheeses, with crab apples, damsons and the wonderfully fragrant quince fruit being popular choices.

 

To turn your quince cheese into pate de fruits simply cut into cubes and roll in caster sugar before serving as a petit four.

Fruit Cheese is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit purée, cooked into a solid, sliceable preserve which is often served alongside cheese, or cut into cubes, rolled in sugar and served as a sweetmeat. Many autumn fruits can be used to make fruit cheeses, with crab apples, damsons and the wonderfully fragrant quince fruit being popular choices.

 

Quince cheese is said to mature over time, and benefit from being stored in the fridge for a month before using. Stored in the fridge it should keep for many months.

Fruit Cheese is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit purée, cooked into a solid, sliceable preserve which is often served alongside cheese, or cut into cubes, rolled in sugar and served as a sweetmeat. Many autumn fruits can be used to make fruit cheeses, with crab apples, damsons and the wonderfully fragrant quince fruit being popular choices.

Fruit Cheese is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit purée, cooked into a solid, sliceable preserve which is often served alongside cheese, or cut into cubes, rolled in sugar and served as a sweetmeat. Many autumn fruits can be used to make fruit cheeses, with crab apples, damsons and the wonderfully fragrant quince fruit being popular choices.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Mary-the boondocks blog

    I used to have a quince tree in the farm. We would bake them but I have never heard of this idea. Sadly the tree is no more. But I will hold on to your great idea.
    Mary-the boondocks blog recently posted…A Display for Christmas Cards and OrnamentsMy Profile

    December 1, 2016 at 9:06 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I have never had baked quince but can imagine they are delicious Mary, what a shame the tree is no more :)

      December 2, 2016 at 8:32 am
  • Reply Gina

    You just blew my mind! I’ve never heard of anything like this over in the states before. I’ve never even tasted quince. It looks so interesting and yummy and I just have to find some quince and give it a try. I wonder, do you think it would be possible to make it with agave or honey instead of sugar?
    Gina recently posted…Adventures in Grinding GrainMy Profile

    December 1, 2016 at 3:15 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Oh good question Gina – I have no idea! I can’t think why it wouldn’t work, but the sugar is what gives it such a long shelf-life so you might find that it didn’t store so well as when it’s made with sugar. Do please let us know if you try it with a different sweetener :)

      December 2, 2016 at 8:29 am
  • Reply Michelle

    Oh I love these fruit cheese blocks. We have a company in South Africa called Safari (appropriate hey?) that sells “vrugte blokkies” and my mom would always pack us some for lunch when we were at school. I never realized it was so relatively easy to make. I must give it a try. Would the recipe work for any type of fruit?

    December 1, 2016 at 10:29 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I think the more fibrous fruits work best such as apples, pears and plums. You could add other fruits such as berries to them, but I think if you wanted to make it from just berries you’d probably have to add some gelatin to get the dense set as they’d just cook away to nothing otherwise x

      December 2, 2016 at 8:26 am

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