Membrillo - Quince Paste

Light Dessert or Breakfast

Membrillo - Quince Paste (c) 2007 L. Sierra Licensed to Inc.


Membrillo is a typical dessert eaten in Spain, although it is also served with toast at the breakfast table. Membrillo or Dulce de Membrillo is a sweet, very dense jelly made from the fruit of the quince tree. The quince tree (Cydonia oblonga) is a relative of the apple and the pear and is native to Europe and parts of Asia. It is golden yellow and looks like a large lumpy pear. Unlike the jellies we are used to eating in the USA, membrillo is dense enough to hold its shape.

So, it is normally sold in squares or “bricks,” then cut into thin slices and spread over plain toast or toast with soft or cream cheese. Some people prefer to serve it with Manchego cheese to have a salty contrast to the sweetness of the membrillo.

Membrillo is sold in grocery stores and supermarkets, but may also be sold in specialty pastry stores in Spain. In supermarkets, you may find it in a sealed plastic container, but at the corner grocery store or market, it is also sold in blocks by the kilo. You simply tell the clerk about how much you want and they will cut a piece for you. In the USA, you can purchase membrillo in jars or cans at gourmet food or ethnic food stores, or over the internet.

Serving Suggestion

For a light dessert or breakfast, serve membrillo on top of toast with cheese.