Those who grew up with the yearly autumn tradition of making large quantities of marmelada (quince jam) will not easily forget the sweet aromatic smell that fills the family home as a tick puree of quince simmers in sugar before it is poured in porcelain bowls to set (unless of course it is eaten before it gets a chance!).
This family recipe produces a smooth and rich marmelada which is delicious on the day and develops into a complex, almost cheese like consistency over months. Portuguese marmelada-making families spend a considerable amount of time debating the pros and cons of fresh versus set marmelada. Best thing is to try making it, eat one bowl straight away with fresh bread, crackers and cheese and keep the rest to eat over the winter months.
3Kg of Sugar for 4Kg of fruit
1. Wash the quince, cut in quarters and remove core. Wash again, cover with boiling water and simmer until soft (around 15-20 minutes).
2. Strain the quince and keep the water for jelly.
3. With a hand blender, make a smooth puree with the quince, weigh and add the right amount of sugar (3kg for 4 kg of fruit puree).
4. Simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Pour in bowls (sterilised with boiling water and dried), cover with grease proof paper and store in a dry place.
6. For the jelly, add sugar to the quince boiling water (3kg for 3L of water) and simmer at medium heat for 3 to 4 hours. Test by spooning onto a cold plate and check whether it sets, if not, leave cooking for longer. Store in sterilised jars.