The mix-and-cook facility of the Thermomix makes apparently tricky orchard fruit pastes a cinch.
Quince paste should be firm, even-textured, slightly grainy and deep red in colour. Served with soft cheese and the best, crusty bread or crisp, it’s a matchless end to a meal. It also offers a way for cunning cooks to sneak a little year-round quince magic into anything from slow-roasted lamb to pan-cooked duck breasts. Simply reconstitute a little paste with water
(or good-quality vinegar, or freshly squeezed orange juice) over low heat until it’s at whatever consistency you require for basting, or to deglaze a pan to make a deliciously perfumed sauce.
Apple and pear pastes are rarely, if ever, found in shops so they are well worth making at home, not just for your own pantry but as gifts for friends who love cheese. The natural tartness of Granny Smith apples balances the paste’s sugar content; for pear paste, we find green-skinned varieties such as Williams or Packham work best.