...In which I doubt that the game is worth the candle. (I've been here before, on a similarly long-winded culinary mission. This isn't quite the same. Hmm.)
As mentioned previously the Trelystan quince crop has been excellent this year. Jelly has been made, fruit have been given away and still we find ourselves with a load to process - and there are yet more on the tree.
I rootle around for inspiration in my big book of 'Things to do with Quince'. Quince vodka doesn't quite hit the spot so early in the day - and only requires 2 fruit. I could use another to flavour an apple crumble (that's 3) and maybe puree half a dozen to make a quince pie. That's maybe used up 9 or so. Could try jam or cheese - wait, Dulce de Membrillo: 'Take 4kgs of quince...' That's more like it.
Membrillo. The very word brings to mind the torrid heat of the Spanish plain, the click of cicadas and a plate of nutty manchego cheese served with a wedge of this deep red 'paste'. Perhaps a glass of something chilled too....
I follow Jane Grigson's recipe - probably because I am a lazy person and there is no mention of peeling and coring - I assume all pips and skin get lost in the sieving process. My slide show shows the process; the pictures are nothing to boast about - green sludgy purée turns into sticky red brick.
From start to finish, probably about 5 hours of simmering, straining, sieving, stirring and stirring and stirring. I do my best to interpret Jane Grigson - she is a cookery writer whom I trust - her words are both descriptive and amusing. Therefore I boil and stir until the mixture thickens and candies and leaves the sides of the pan and turns a deep red. I am not surprised when it explodes and pops with what J describes as 'an occasional fat burp'. The fruit and sugar spits ferociously at first and I have to put on my new and clean gardening gloves to avoid being burnt by molten sugar. The whole panfull is a bit volcanic except of smelling of sulphur the kitchen is sweet and perfumed.
After about 2 hours of bubbling and stirring I've had enough, got arm-ache, and scrape the now nearly solid paste into tins to set. Amazingly I've managed to avoid the pan or paste burning. Gosh, it's remarkably sticky and just a little chewy. The flavour? Well, it's sweet but there is also a little acidic tang - a brightness. It definitely tastes of Quince too, even after all that cooking.
Jane Grigson notes that it will keep, stored in granulated sugar in an air-tight box for up to two years. Just as well because this isn't something I'll be making again in a hurry.