When speaking of my quince obsession the other day, I told you about membrillo, a delicious Spanish quince paste. Due to the miracle of quince’s high pectin content, when cooked for a long time at a slow temperature, it makes this lovely firm jelly, that is as pretty as it is tasty.
In Spain they eat it with manchego cheese, a dry, salty sheep’s cheese. The combination is uncommonly good! I decided to make some little cups out of cracker dough, and put a small piece of membrillo and a small piece of manchego in each one. It looks fancy, but it’s also nice because you get the full experience in one bite – sweet & soft, salty, and crispy crunchy. I made these with smoked Spanish paprika. Because 1)I make everything with smoked spanish paprika (I swear, I have to stop myself, sometimes!) 2) It’s Spanish, like the cheese and the quince paste 3) it makes the dough a beautiful pinkish salmon color that goes so nicely with the lovely pinkish amber membrillo!
I simply made a quick cracker dough, and rolled it into little discs that I pressed into a mini muffin tin. I didn’t want them to be too neat and orderly, they look more like little flowers if you just press them quickly together and crimp them randomly with your fingers.
You could use any kind of cracker dough, and put any number of things inside (food-type things, preferably!) Tapenade and fresh mozzarella would be good. Or goat cheese and a little sprig of arugula, or some capers. Whatever you like!