Friday, 3 December 2010

Brush up your Shakespeare

Here´s one that will tame any palate.This is a traditional Portuguese dessert or spread. We usually have a slice of marmelada with cheese, and this match made in heaven is called Romeo and Julietta. In Spain this quince cheese is called membrillo and served with manchego - maravilho!!!! In far away Pakistan It´s called muraba, Cotognata in Italy, and in Brazil they call the partnership Joãosinho e Maria.
Marmelada has a natural affinity to cheese and is lovely with bread and one of the creamy Portuguese cheeses such as Serra da Estrela, or queijo fresco. Just as we like it.
It is often served for breakfast. Jam and cheese, "cheese and cake", kay?
It is delicious and it keeps very well for up to 2 years!

Quince marmalade ( marmelada )
About 2kg (41/2 lb) quince
Juice of 1 lemon
2kg (4lb) sugar
This makes a massive amount and unless you want a huge wibbly wobbly bundt full of jelly on your hands, or your thinking of home made culinary Christmas presents, I would halve or even quarter this quantity. The ring in the picture above was quarter of the original recipe. It will keep this house fa -la -la-la -laing through Christmas.

Wash the quinces and cut them up, skin, pips and all. Put them in a large heavy based pan, add about 1.25 litres (5 cups ) of water and the lemon juice. Bring to the boil.Lower the heat, cover and simmer for at least an hour, stirring often, until the quinces are soft and turn a rosy pink.
cool a little, then pass through a fine food mill, discarding the bits that won´t go through.
Weigh the quince. For every kilo use 800g (1lb 12 oz) sugar. weigh the sugar and put in the pan with the quinces. bring to a gentle boil, stirring contantly to avoid sticking and burning.Lower the heat and simmer for 21/2 - 3 hours, stirring very often until it is thick, with a beautiful deep colour and falls onto itself when you drop a spoonful from a height, rather than vanishing into nothing.It should also start to pull away from the sides of the pan when you stir it.You need to up your stirring towards the end as this is when it starts to stick and burn.Using a piece of kitchen paper Lightly oil a large (3 litre/ 12 cup ) ring tin ( I used a 750ml ring ). Pour the marmelada into the ring and smooth the top with a wooden spoon.Leave to cool, covered with a sheet of greaseproof paper, so no moisture can form.Leave overnight so it dries out a bit. Turn out onto a plate ( I had to dip the ring into some hot water briefly to release it).Store in an airtight container in the fridge.A cool larder is fine, if you don´t have space in your fridge.

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