Quince Compote (Membrillo) – Traditional Recipe

4 Servings

Quince is so tasty and fragrant that I have to cook it when it comes into season. Here in Gibraltar it is traditional to cook it in a simple syrup with clove and cinnamon, known as ‘compota de membrillo‘. Quince is usually considered an old fashioned fruit but don’t let that stop you from cooking it because the taste is wonderful.

Quince is much tougher than apples and even through it becomes soft when cooked it still retains its structure, unlike apples which goes mushy. The fragrant smell infuses the whole place and is reminiscent of autumn and winter.


  • 1.2 kg quince (about 3 medium ones)
  • 750ml water
  • 200g sugar (granulated)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves


  1. Peel and dice the quinces, keep about a dozen of the pips. These aren’t meant to be eaten but provide pectin for the syrup.
  2. Place the quince and the pips in a deep pan with the water, sugar and spices.
  3. Cook on a slow simmer for about 45 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool and serve.

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