Quince paste jam drop biscuits: baking for neat-freaks

I made quince paste a while back and while I do love it with cheese, I thought I’d have a crack at using it in some other ways.

First off, edible underpants.

Joke. Everyone knows edible undies taste revolting in any flavour except arctic-strength mint. And even then…

Really though, I’m talking to you this evening about good old-fashioned jam drop biccies.

But instead of dropping a messy teaspoon of jam in, I cut up neat little squares of quince paste and used those instead.

I also made some spiced plum paste and cut that up into squares too.

And in keeping with our square theme, I made a batch of square bics.

Look how perfect and lovely they are before cooking.

I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out; would the paste leak over the edges, would the bics lose their shape? Yep, it was edge of your seat, nail-biting stuff.

But aren’t they perty?

And even if they’re not as perty as an actual picture, they’re a damn sight pertier than one of my recent baking attempts: cupcakes for the school fundraiser which, iced with red icing, looked like the business end of a caesarean section. No photos – you’re going to have to take my word for it.

Although I do have this photo of last year’s attempt at cupcakes for the school fundraiser which looked as though they had been iced with sludge from the bottom of the Yarra River.

Kids still bought ’em though.

Poor hungry little souls.

One-Two-Three Biscuits

1/4 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
100g unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180c/ 350f.

Mix flours, sugar and salt, add butter and rub between fingers until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and vanilla and knead with fingers to bring together and until smooth consistency.

Roll out pastry to about 3/4cm (about quarter of an inch) thick and use pastry cutter to cut shapes.

I used the square end of a chopstick and a pen lid to make my impressions in the dough. Just grab whatever you can find. If  you’re using normal jam rather than paste though, ensure your impression is nice and deep as the dough rises a tiny bit as it is cooking.

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Quince paste and the giveaway winners. A natural pairing, no?

My mum brought me these quinces from her tree. Aren’t they so very beautiful?

I love the way something so hard and pale when in its raw state (and frankly a bit confronting at this angle)

transforms into this deep-pink and firm but at the same time meltingly-soft paste after the application of nothing more than sugar and heat.

Quite the metamorphosis.

We are almost into the truly wintry weather (today was the coldest in Melbourne for 4 years) and through Autumn I have been cooking up thick, filling soups of cauliflower and broccoli and serving them at the table with warm, fresh bread and a cheese board that includes a slab of this quince paste.

A thin slice of quince paste on blue cheese, an oozy washed rind cheese or any kind of cheese really, is so delish.

It’s not quick to make but nor is it tricky and the results are so lovely. Plus it lasts for years in the fridge.

My mum used to make it every year and drive around with trays of it on the parcel shelf in the back seat of the car where the sun would gently warm it and dry it out to just the right consistency.

What? Didn’t everyone’s mother do that? Whaddya mean you didn’t get strands of your childhood hair stuck in trays of quince paste when the car windows were down?

These days I have a bit of a secret weapon in the quince paste making stakes which I’ll tell you more about in a little bit. In the meantime, I like this recipe.

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WINNERS WINNERS WINNERS (imagine those words are lit up and flashing like a Las Vegas casino)

The first prize winner in the twirling betty Hat Shop giveaway is: Stefanie Warreyn.

Second prize winner is Nancy.

Congrats gals. I’ll be in touch very soon.