Quince Turkish delight

Quince Turkish delight

By
From
Arabesque
Photographer
William Meppem

There are many types of quince paste or cheese to be found all around the Mediterranean. These are delicious eaten as a sweetmeat, or as in Spain with a slice of Manchego cheese. Softer versions are delicious spread on toast like jam, or as a glaze for grilled meats. The idea inspired Greg to use quince as a flavour for Turkish delight, finding out only later that old traditional recipes used it as well. The tart–sweet quince flavour is a thrilling change from the very sweet rosewater and vanilla versions usually on offer in Middle Eastern stores and restaurants. Turkish delight is time-consuming to make, requiring plenty of patience and a strong arm for stirring. It is a fickle sweet, and the addition of different fruits requires constant slight variations to the basic recipe. The recipe below is a simple adaptation, using shop-bought quince paste to provide the flavour and colour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 cups caster sugar
1 1/4 litres water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup cornflour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
200g quince paste, cut into 1/2 cm dice
200g icing sugar
80g cornflour

Method

  1. Place the sugar in a heavy-based pot with 375 ml of the water and the teaspoon of lemon juice and bring to the boil.
  2. In a separate bowl, gradually mix together the cornflour and cream of tartar with the remaining water, ensuring there are no lumps. As soon as the syrup reaches 116°C on a sugar thermometer, quickly pour in the cornflour mixture, stir well and lower the heat to a bare simmer.
  3. Cook on this very gentle heat for about 2 hours, stirring constantly so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. The mixture will gradually thicken, become transparent and deepen in colour to a soft amber hue.
  4. Eventually the mixture will be thick enough for you to draw a distinct channel across the bottom of the pan with your spoon. At this point, add the diced quince paste and stir in evenly.
  5. Quickly pour into a deep baking tray, 30 cm x 25 cm x 3 cm, lined with greaseproof paper. Allow to cool overnight, but do not refrigerate.
  6. Turn out and peel away the greaseproof paper. Cut into 2 cm cubes and roll them in a mixture of the icing sugar and cornflour before serving with strong black coffee.
Tags:
Middle East
Middle Eastern
Arabic
Arabian
Arabesque
Greg
Lucy
Malouf
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