Saturday, 16 May 2015


When I made membrillo (quince cheese) for the first time last autumn I realised that fruit "cheeses" have been around for a long time. Knowing I couldn't get quince for another year and expecting the batch of membrillo to be finished well before then I made a mental note to try and make perada (pear cheese) some time.

Today, my favourite discount supermarket hat 25 % of Abate pears and I seized the opportunity. I came home with 2.5 kg of pears, went on the internet and found two recipes I liked. One is from a blog called LondonEats, the other from whatscookingamerica. I based my perada primarily on the LondonEats recipe but added apples instead of pectin as suggested by whatscookingamerica.

After cooking the fruit pulp for three hours without my spoon leaving a trail I decided I'd settle for a soft spreadable rather than a firm perada that can be sliced. I'm sure it'll be just as tasty.

2.5 kg pears
0.5 kg apples
soft brown (unrefined sugar), 1 part to 2 parts of fruit pulp
300 ml water
juice of 2 lemons
rind of 1 lemon, cut into strips with a speed peeler

1. Rinse the fruit, don't remove the skin but place whole into a couple of saucepans so there's just the one layer and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the fruit is soft. The fruit is soft when a pointed knife slips easily into the pears. As my pears were still firm, this took 30 minutes of simmering. I removed the apples earlier as their skin burst when they were done.

I thought the boiled pears looked reallz funky.
2. Drain and leave to cool. Once the pears are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard. The fruit now needs to be passed through a sieve using the back of a (wooden) spoon. You can either chop it up or run it through the food processor with the coarse grater disc inserted. The latter tip I gleaned from the membrillo recipe and it makes pulping the fruit much easier.

3. Measure out the pulp. The above recipe resulted in 1.8-2 l of pulp. As it was quite sweet already I used only 1 part sugar to 2 parts fruit.

4. Place the fruit pulp, sugar, lemon juice, water and lemon rind into a stainless steel saucepan. Stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer until the mixture is thick enough for a spoon to leave trails. Mine took 3 hours but never got that thick, perhaps because I didn't use pectin.

Remember to stir regularly to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Warning: Do be careful. The thicker the mixture gets the more it spatters and those spatters are roasting. My right hand got hit numerous times. Eventually, I got wise to the danger and put on an oven glove to stir.

5. Remove the lemon rind. It seemed a shame to discard it so I set it aside and placed a slice or two on the top of each filled jar. Pour into sterilised jars , screw on the lid and turn upside down until completely cool. Store in a dark cool place.  

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