I have an image in my mind about how the perfect Christmas should be. Family, friends, laughs, lights, music, snow if possible and a warm and full of sweets home. A lot of different little treats, traditional or not, that everyone will enjoy and will make a “sweet” day even sweeter. Every year I am searching all of my books and recipes for something new to make, something that it is festive and in the Christmas spirit and something that will allow me to use all the incredible and delicious “ingredients” (fruits or nuts) that are plenty this time of the year. Of course some of the good old recipes are always necessary and irreplaceable.
Quince jelly candy or kydonopasto is a combination of old and new for me. Although it is a Greek traditional sweet and a very old recipe, this is my first time making or even tasting it. In my place of living the quince spoon sweet (chopped quince in syrup) is more popular and common than kydonopasto but when I saw a photo in a magazine of this “version” I was thrilled. A sweet that “enclosures” all the flavor and aroma of the ripe quince and it can be cut in cubes which makes it easy to be served. All I was searching for. One of my little sweet treats was just found.
Kydonopasto is in fact quince paste cut into cubes and rolled in sugar or nuts. Quinces are boiled in water until soft, being pureed and cooked with sugar until a paste is formed. I also added some chopped blanched almonds in it for a more interesting taste result. The paste should dry in a baking pan for 3-4 days before cut into pieces. It is not difficult but takes a little time before it is ready to be served. Undoubtedly it is worthwhile. The sweet fruity taste, the chopped almonds and the nutty flavor of the roasted almonds on the surface makes a combination totally rewarding and ideal for this jolly day.
I know that perfect Christmas isn’t always achievable or possible for most people but it is worth a try! Happy baking!!
Quince jelly candy - kydonopasto
- 1 kg quince puree (about 2 - 2,5 kg whole quinces)
- 1 kg sugar
- drops of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
- 1 cup roasted and ground almonds
Wash the quinces very well.
Peel them and remove the seeds and the core.
Cut in large pieces.
Put the quinces in a large pot with enough water to cover them.
Simmer for about 1 hour until the quinces are soft.
Remove from the pot and drain.
Using a potato masher puree the boiled and drained quinces.
Weigh the puree and put it in a large pot.
Add equal amount of sugar (for 1 kg puree use 1 kg of sugar) and a few drops of lemon juice.
Cook on a low heat for about 40 minutes stirring continuously .
Be careful because it can stick and burn easily.
The jelly is ready when it comes off the sides of the pot.
Remove from the heat and add the almonds.
Transfer the jelly to a baking pan(about 28cmx22cm) lined with parchment paper.
With your hands smooth out the surface.
Let the kydonopasto dry in the pan for 3-5 days.
When it is ready remove from the pan, with the parchment paper, and flip it over.
Remove the parchment paper and cut into cubes.
Roll each cube into roasted and ground almonds.
Store in an airtight container.