pate de fruit on blue plate

I glanced out the window while eating breakfast and noticed the juxtaposition of the light against the turning leaves. I said to my husband, “it’s time for quince.” Without saying another word, we washed the dishes and dressed for our trip to the orchard.
I’ve been dreaming about quince since fall arrived here in New England. Quince is big, yellow, knobby and something of a cross between an apple and a pear. It’s quite bitter until you cook it on the stove with sugar but once it’s done, it’s sweet, soft and delicious. I couldn’t wait to get to the orchard to buy some.
quince pate de fruit close
I was also excited because I love visiting the orchard. To me, orchards are magical. I love the rows of trees, the colors and the slope of the land. I love them because they give us fresh food even after most of the farm stands and farmers markets have closed for the winter. For whatever reason, it’s not the first time we’ve talked about how wonderful it would be to have an old farm house with an orchard out back.
quince pate de fruit assorted
quince pate de fruit plate
quince angle
Of course, we were diverted on the way by caramel apples and cider doughnuts but that didn’t keep us from finding fresh quince. I had neither tasted nor heard of quince when I stumbled upon an incredible membrillo recipe on Aran’s beautiful blog. For three years now we’ve made her membrillo in autumn and eaten it with a delectable cheese from here or here. This year we decided to do something different.
We decided to turn the recipe into something sweet called pate de fruit. It’s especially simple to make pate de fruit with this recipe because quince contains a lot of pectin. No gelatin is required to make the recipe work. It’s an elegant treat with incredible fresh fruit flavor.
pumpkin collage
pumpkin feet
tree collage
ย I know you’ll love it too.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
quince andd pate de fruit


Quince Pate de Fruit (only slightly adapted from Cannelle et Vanille)


4 large quinces
Juice of 1 lemon
Sugar (25% less amount as pureed quince)


Peel, core and quarter the quince. Cut the quarters in half. Place the cut quince in a bowl with lemon juice to stop it from oxidizing.


Place the quince in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the quince until fork tender, about 20 minutes.


Drain the water out and puree the soft quince. Weigh the puree on a scale. You will need slightly less sugar than puree (about 25% less). That is, if you have 1000g of puree, you’ll need about 750 g of sugar. You need less sugar for this recipe than the membrillo recipe because you’re going to roll the candy in sugar at the end and don’t want it to be overly sweet. Don’t worry about it being exactly 3/4 of the amount. Simply measure the puree and put in a bit less sugar.


Place the puree and sugar in a large pot and start cooking it in medium heat. When the sugar melts and it starts to get hot, it will bubble up and might burn so be very, very careful when stirring. Wear gloves if necessary. Turn the heat down a bit but make sure there are still small bubbles forming. Cook this mixture for about an 45 minutes to an hour. It may take longer if you have a lot of quince. You can tell it’s done when it turns a deep orange color and gets very thick.


Transfer the thick paste, into a quarter sheetpan lined with parchment and let it cool. Once cool, cut into squares and roll each square in sugar. Leave out uncovered overnight so the pate de fruit develops a stronger shape.


Later, store at room temperature in a covered container.


Bon Appetit!



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  1. The photos are beautiful. I’ve never had quince but the colors and textures definitely make me want to go out and look for it. Pate de fruit is a favorite of mine too. Now if only I could get MY husband to help!

  2. I read this earlier today and I ran to the market to get some quince. I have never tried it and have been wanting to wait until something really special came across, and this is it! this reminds me so much of th guava paste I grew up with in Puerto Rico. Will let you know how it goes!

    Maria @ A Platter of Figs

  3. El, these pictures are gorgeous! I love that picture of the tree with the orange leaves, and the photos of the pate de fruit are beautifully composed. I hope to find an orchard close by that can serve as my source for quince too.

  4. Gorgeous fall photos. Where did you get that blue plate? I have to have it. The candy looks delish too. Happy Thanksgiving, El. Hope your arm gets better soon.

  5. Sadly, I’ve never tasted quince but I’ve always marveled at the fruit and their beautiful blossoms.

    Thank you for the beautiful, fall photos and one day, I hope to find some quince to try.

    Love that handsome boy and those darling little feet ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. The socks beside the pumpkin are so sweet and unexpected – what a find! And the orange stripped shirt, too! The orchard clearly had more than quince there. What a lovely fieldtrip – and your photos and artistic magic are the respite I needed this morning.
    I love the photo with the unsugared fruit, and the one under it with the knobby bottom of the quince. Did you know starfruit was from the same family?
    I have purchased quince paste at many open air markets in Europe to enjoy with cheese, but have never thought of making it myself… no orchards here – but, brilliant! And I adore pate de fruit!
    In the Balkans, and in Europe wherever it grows, people bring it into their home in baskets and line it on top of cupboards and everywhere they can squeeze them in as the fruit scent is so beautiful in the home and lasts for such a long time as it is such a dense hard fruit.
    Lastly, your husband sounds as kind as mine. To take on a kitchen task when you have an out of commission arm, knowing how important this is for you. Is your husband interested in food and cooking? Mind is definitely not, but still the best sous chef ever and I am so thankful for they way he champions my loves.
    Hope your arm heals soon!

  7. Quince is perhaps my favorite winter fruit. We use it a lot in Greece in savory dishes and of course for making quince paste. The idea of turning it into pate de fruit is genius! I love pate de fruit. I tried making a batch from red grapes earlier this autumn but the outcome was disastrous.
    I will try making this one! Thanks El and congrats to your loving husband for preparing this delicious treat!
    Hope your arm feels better soon!

  8. the pictures of New England are really beautiful. My husband and I have never been there together and we plan to do it in the next few years. The food looks spectacular!

  9. Thanks for the comments and well-wishes everyone! Here are answers to your questions so far

    Maria- let me know how it turns out.

    Sharon- I bought it at a little shop on Cape Cod. I’m sorry I can’t remember the name!

    Valerie- I did not know it was similar to star fruit. And yes, my husband loves food and cooking.

  10. We had a quince tree at our first house, but our children were babies and demanded my attention more than the quince did. This sound so delicious that I now need to track down a quince or two.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Lovely journey down a fall lane with you; I am crazy for those fall colors! Have yet to spy my first quince of the season in the market. Dying to have a pot bubbling away on the stove to make something delicious such as these pate de fruit!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!!

  12. I must say, one of the things I miss most about my old house are the ancient fruit trees… many kinds of old apples and cherries. They weren’t pretty… small and blemished but soooo delicious. I have made the paste with the quince and quince jam and loved them both. Also, a bowl of quince in a room positively perfumes it… really extraordinary.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  13. Happy Thanksgiving to you El. I hope you had a great day. Sorry to hear about your arm but it must be feeling much better after having some of this beautiful quince. Great photos too.

  14. Love the autumn colours in your fall photos. I’ve never tried either a quince or a pate before and am really interested to know how both taste like.

  15. Pรขtes de fruits are such a divine treat – I’ve never had quince ones before, but I love how the flavor of the fruit really shines through despite all that sweetness.

    I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to make it to an orchard this year, but I’ve been privileged enough to do plenty of other lovely things. Next year !

    Love those cheeses at Formaggio Kitchen;) Well wishes with arm recovery if it isn’t better yet.

  16. Love quince, always get so excited to get my hands on some even if it means trekking all over town! Quince paste, jelly or tart….love ๐Ÿ™‚ These pate de fruit look wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. El: two things:
    Do you have a link on your site for your favourite family traditional Christmas sweet or treat I could share on my site (just the link) and would you be willing to offer your insights on food trends for 2012 for a post I am doing right after Christmas. I am very curious about what you think is in store for your specific New England area for the upcoming year.

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