Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins

More effort

About 7 x 100ml pots
Jane's British version of the Spanish quince paste membrillo, traditionally served with Manchego cheese

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Dairy-free
  • Nut-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Egg-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal56
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g
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  • 2kg black or red plum



    The juiciest fruit in the stone fruit family, plums come in many different varieties, some sweet…

  • 1kg bag jam sugar (with added pectin)



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…


  1. Stone and quarter the plums, then put into a preserving pan. Add 500ml cold water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 45 mins until completely cooked down, pulpy and dark, dark red.

  2. Sieve the fruit and juice through a nylon sieve back into the pan – make sure you get every bit of pulp out of the mix that you can.

  3. Stir in the sugar, then stir over a low heat until dissolved. Now turn up the heat and bubble for about 25 mins or until you have a thick, dark and fruity purée. Keep stirring so that the bottom doesn’t catch – it’s ready when the spoon leaves a trail along the bottom of the pan for a split second before the paste floods back into the gap.

  4. Pot the hot mix into small jars (using a funnel is easiest), seal, then leave to set. Will keep for up to 6 months.

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Comments (21)

alemap's picture

Just made another batch and added two star anise for a slightly spiced flavour. Tastes great. Slightly oiled some dariole moulds and the paste turns out really well. Thanks for the recipe as it is hard to find quince.

vinuela's picture

Great recipe. As I live in Spain and fruit is only available in season I have used apricots that I had in the freezer for the second batch that I made, the finished item just as good the plum.

pastejunkie's picture

I have made this twice now and it's devine! Both times made using normal caster sugar. The first time i used plums that were still quite new season.. resulted in a lighter less sweet flavoured paste which was fabulous. The second I made with much older plums this batch took much longer than the recipe suggested probably due to the higher water content of the plums but again magic the result being a much richer, darker full flavoured paste.. Thanks for the recipe. Am now attempting same recipe with my figs. I'll keep you posted :)

laura4363's picture

Halved the amounts, used the plum stones instead of jam sugar as suggested above, and got a lovely looking jelly that set really well - the only problem is it tastes like cough linctus! Which I happen to quite like, but it's supposed to be a gift, and I don't think my friends would appreciate cough linctus jelly! I have no idea where I went wrong, can anyone enlighten me???

salmay's picture

Wanted to report that I didnt bother with jam sugar but cooked with the stones in as suggested above - thank you Caroline! Worked well - it's more of a well set paste than a sliceable jelly as suggested by the picture but it's just as good for that.
On the flavour itself, we liked it a lot but felt that without the sharpness of quince you get in a classic membrillo it lacked something - might try a touch of spice or chilli next time.

ajctracey's picture

For pectin: cook the plums with the stones, and also break open a few stones (about a dozen). They will release extra pectin and they won't pass through the sieve! It also makes the whole exercise a lot easier as you don't have to stone the plums.

evaselwood's picture

I also can't get pectin sugar. In England or Germany it's easy, but I'm in Northern Cyprus at the moment with my quinces and plums. Any ideas anybody??

shadysmum's picture

I gave this as gifts to my family when first published and have been asked to make it again

Great recipe and plumbs are easier to find than quince

mark101simpson's picture

Dear SamPearson,

You should be able to get jam sugar in Sainsburys, I bought some last week - it'll be hiding in amongst all the other types of sugar so have a good look! Hope that helps.

ruby-tuesday's picture

Absolutey delicious and looks so attractive on a cheeseboard. I made it in small ramekins so that it was easier to turn out.

Will make this again and again- and also worth noting is that it makes a particularly good present to take to a dinner party with a big chunk of Manchego to enjoy it with!

cjbarr_1818's picture

I made this for the first time last night and while it tastes good, it is not as dense as it seems in the photo - still a bit gooey, but can turn it out of the glass jars - it just doesn't look as clean as I'd like. I think this is because maybe it needed to be cooked longer? Any thoughts? I also canned the American way - meaning boiling in the sealed jars in a pressure canner after the fact to make sure it can be stored longer. Would this have caused the problem? Any comments would be welcome.

leonam00's picture

I have a small crop of quince and would like to make membrillo, would I just use the same quantities as the plums?

margaretdodeangel's picture

2nd year of making this and is loved by all the family. A great addition to the cheese board and so easy to make.

lbowen28's picture

I see someone has frozen theres, does this turn out ok? Also what sort of use by date would be put on this?

siiriliisi's picture

too sweet and too sticky

patriciaevans's picture

Absolutely delicious. Very easy to make - I have frozen mine. Tastes lovely, especially with goat's cheese

angelafield's picture

Hmm I think I did something wrong...I have something that resembles plum toffee that I cannot remove from the containers! In my infinite wisdom I thought refrigerating it might help. It didn't, I also snapped a teaspoon in half trying to remove some. I let it simmer and bubble for the time suggested, but this does not resemble a paste...any help?

heheyman's picture

great recipe , worked really well and tastes as good as the quince paste any day

freya99's picture

Made this yesterday. I put it in little plastic containers that come with every storage set that seem too small to use for anything!!

Now I can turn straight out onto the cheeseboard as couldnt see how you could get it out of a jar, once its set.

Turned out really well and every bit as good as bought membrillo

michellewheeler1's picture

This is an excellent accompaniment to a cheese board. goes well with the cheese lincolnshire poacher.


Questions (2)

catmccrae's picture

I cannot get sugar with added pectin here in the USA, how much pectin should I add to regular sugar?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, you can use a 13g sachet of pectin and I kg granulated sugar instead of the jam sugar. Enjoy!

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