This blood orange version of Spanish quince paste is not difficult to make, but it does take a bit of time. It’s a brilliant accompaniment with strong cheeses. I particularly like it with blue cheese or good quality cheddar.
3 whole blood oranges (approx. 500g)
juice of 4 blood oranges (250ml)
200g caster sugar
Boil whole unpeeled oranges for 1 hour. Combine with the strained juice in a blender and puree to a smooth puree (peel, pith seeds and all). Place the puree in a clean saucepan and add 200g sugar. Cover partially with a lid and cook for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened, glossy and starting to hold together in a mass, pulling away from the sides of the pot.
Transfer the paste to a small tray or bowl lined with baking paper. The amount of paste should be around 300-400 ml and the container should be small enough so that the membrillo forms a layer of around 2 cm thickness. Smooth the top and transfer to an oven set to 80C fan-forced. Dry for around 5 hours then refrigerate overnight. Turn the membrillo out onto a second tray (the dry top will be on the bottom and the undried base will not be exposed to the air). Allow to dry overnight again. Slice and serve with cheese. Keep the membrillo in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 months.
Top Tips for Blood Orange Membrillo
- If you can’t wait for this to dry, it is perfectly delicious as a wet paste as well.
- The paste can be tricky to handle until it is set, but after it has dried it will not be so sticky.
- You can use a combination of citrus rather than just blood oranges.