If you're Portuguese you know exactly what that word means, if you're not, you're no doubt wondering what this is.
It actually goes by so many names like Quince Cheese, Quince Marmalade and Membrillo.
In Portuguese "marmelada" applies chiefly to quince marmalade (from "marmelo", quince). In Italian too, marmellata means every jam and marmalade, as it does Mermelada in Italian-influenced Rioplatense Spanish.
For me, it's a journey back in time to when I was a little girl in Portugal. I remember for some reason it used to be synonymous with Saturday morning breakfast, a "galao" and a Portuguese roll with butter, marmelada and a thick slice of cheese. Now you may turn your nose up and think that is an odd combination, but trust me, it's really good and if my own husband and kids who are born and raised in the USA try it and love it, I know you will too.
So I'm going to show you how to make it, there really is no recipe for this, it's just one of those things passed down in the family, those kind of things you cook that remind you of your greatgrandma or grandma in the kitchen, funny that even the look of the Passe-Vite brings back such fond memories of my greatgrandma making mashed potatoes :)
Quince are not that easy to find in the States, trust me, I've been looking for a few years and for some reason yesterday I totally lucked out when I went to my local Walmart and found them, right there next to the Pomegranates. They're not cheap either, they run about $1.50 EACH.
Anyway, I've babbled enough, here's how I make it.....
Wash the quince really well, then place in a big pot, yes whole, don't peel it yet or core it or anything.
Cover with water and cook for about 30 to 35 minutes until they are nice and soft.
Here they are after cooking. Remove them from the pot and allow to cool completely. You can get rid of the water OR save it to make Quince Jelly.
Once cool, peel and remove all the seeds, set those aside as well if you're making the jelly, if not, then just dump them. I only made the Marmelada today so I got rid of mine.
Cut the quince into chunks and then pull out your Passe-Vite. I have to say this is my favorite kitchen gadget, I use it for mashed potatoes or for anything else that I'm mashing, apples for applesauce etc.
If you don't have one, just use a potato masher or even an immersion blender.
Now take the mashed quince and place it on a kitchen scale. As you can see mine is very old and is actually in grams and kilograms :)
Take note of the weight because you need as much sugar in weight. For me this equaled about 700 grams, so that's how much sugar I will need to use.
Now dump the quince back into the pot, weigh the exact amount of sugar and pour it into the pot too, then add cinnamon sticks (I only used one because I'm not making much, but add accordingly), and add a lemon peel in there too.
Simmer over medium heat until it turns brown in color and nice and thick, the way that I check to see if it's ready is by taking a little spoonful onto a small plate, then I run a knife through it and it should spread apart and NOT run back together.
Once done, remove from heat. Spray a small plastic container with non stick spray, scoop the marmelada into the container and smooth out. Set aside and let it cool down, as it cools down it will harden up and go darker in color, you want it hard enough to be able to slice.
If you're going to make just a small amount like I did and it will be gone within a month then this is fine to store it, once cool just store it in your refrigerator. If you're making a huge amount and want to store some for a few months up to a year, then cover small plastic containers with wax paper, pour the marmelada into the containers, take a pair of scissors and cut off the excess paper all around the edge, then cut out a small piece of paper, place it on top of the marmelada and then put the lid on. These will keep for quite a long time as long as they're sealed properly so make sure you have a good plastic lid on.