Portuguese food

The food of Portugal is rich, & has a depth of intensity just like its people.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Quince Paste ( Marmelada) & Spaghetti Squash (Doce de Chila)

I have a confession to make, a little secret I've kept to myself, something that's a bit embarrassing.
I like buying & making preserves, jams, chutneys & preserved fruit.The more unusual the more I want to buy it or make it. The thing is I don't really like eating them that much, if at all.
I know it sounds weird but I have this compulsion, I'm like a magpie who sees something shinny & just has to have it.
I just had to make these 2 preserves, as these are Portugal's most famous preserves. As I don't eat these I decided to give these 2 to my mum, for Mothers Day & sister in law.
Which made them extremely happy.

The Portuguese love sweet preserves, Quince Paste (Marmelada) is a staple in most Portuguese homes, & when I was in Portugal every household I visited brought out their home made version.
It's eaten in the morning for breakfast usually with bread & semi soft cheese.

Spaghetti Squash (Doce de Chila) is used as an ingredient in cakes as well as for decorating them.
Once cooked it resembles threads, a bit like spaghetti,  hence the name.
Many people in Portugal grow this vegetable & so make this preserve.
It's not so easy to find in here in Australia, I happened to come across it by accident.

One thing to remember when making the Spaghetti Squash is that the Squash can't be opened with a knife. You can either break it on the floor or you can get a pot & hit the squash with the pan,which is what I did.

Quince Paste (Marmelada)
  • 3 large quinces (weighted 1350)
  • 1kg caster sugar
  • lemon peel
  • 1 cinnamon quill

1. Cut the quinces leaving the skin & pips on. In a pot add the quinces, lemon peel, cinnamon peel & cover with water. They will oxidise & discolour, don't worry about that, it'll add to the colour.

2. Cook the quince till very soft, this should take 45 min.Once cooked drain the quince in a colander reserving 100ml of the juice.

3. Mash the quinces (skin & pips) in a blender. Then sieve the quince to remove the pips & skin.

4. In a clean pot add the quince puree, 100ml of the reserved juice & the sugar. Then cook it on a low heat stirring every 10 min.

5. Cook until the mixture is thick & has changed colour, into a deep rich mahogany colour.
     The low heat will prevent the mixture from burning.

6. Once the quince is cooked scoop it into a bowl or any container.

Spaghetti Squash Preserve (Doce de Chila
  • 1 spaghetti Squash (weigh the flesh)
  • sugar equals the weight of the spaghetti squash
  • 400ml water
     Spaghetti Squash

1. Hit the squash with a pan so it breaks open. Break it into pieces. Don't use a knife to cut it open. Scoop out the inside flesh using a wooden spoon.

2. Put the pieces of squash (skin & all) into a pot & fill with water & cook the squash till it's soft.

 3. Once the squash is cooked scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin.

4. Once all the flesh is removed, weigh the squash. Then weigh out equal amounts of sugar.
In a pan add the sugar & water & cook till it's syrupy,thick with no colour.
Then add the squash & cook for 20min or till thick. 

6. Once it's cook add the preserve into a clean preserving jar.


Roland said...

I love quince paste, nice to know how to make it.

belnboo said...

I've never seen the spaghetti squash,interesting.
The quince past looks great.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

You're so creative! I've never seen a spaghetti squash preserve! :D

Portuguese Kitchen said...

Hi Roland- Well I'm not a huge fan, but luckily my family is.

Hi belnboo- I'm glad you got to see it here.

Hi Lorraine- Thanks,in Portugal it's everywhere, & everyone makes it. It's in a lot of cake recipes.

Anonymous said...

hi its nice to know that you people like portuguese food.you should see the pudings and the cakes that we do,