Manchego with Mebrillo is a match made in heaven. Ditto soft cheese and cold meats too. Lacking a quince tree, I’ve never tried my hand at this pantry staple – until I came across this formula for Mebrillo made from apples. In essence, it’s a preserved apple jam that’s solid and sliceable and delicious with cheese. Plus a tangy addition to lamb stews and tagines to cut through the richness and brighten the flavours.
This Membrillo takes 2-4 weeks to mature.
1 kg apples
1 kg caster sugar
Juice 2 lemons
15cm dish to set the Membrillo, lined with baking parchment
Peel, core and slice the apples and place in a large, heavy pot with 100g water over a medium heat. Allow to cook down for 30 minutes until soft. Keep an eye on the pot to make sure the apples don’t catch with a low heat and stirring now and again.
Mash the apples through and weigh them. Add the same amount of sugar back into the pot, along with the apples and lemon juice.
Simmer super low for another 60 minutes – the mix will thicken, darken and reduce and keep an eye once again to make sure the paste doesn’t’ catch.
To check is the Membrillo is ready, run a wooden spoon through the mixture. If the paste is ready, the wooden spoon will leave a trail.
Line a small dish with baking paper, allowing for plenty of overlap up the sides. Pour in the paste and wrap tightly with a tea towel. Leave to set in a cool dark place and allow to mature for 2-4 weeks. The Membrillo will keep for up to 12 months.