Quince Paste By Najmieh Batmanglij

6 servings.

6 pounds quinces (about 8 medium quinces)
6 cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon rose water

1 cup ground pistachios


Wash and peel the quinces. Place in a container of water with a splash of vine­gar to prevent discoloration. Grate the quinces. Remove the quince seeds from the core and place in a cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth in a knot so the seeds are held inside (the seeds have some natural pectin, which will help form the paste).
Transfer the quinces to a pot (preferably copper), cover with 3 cups water, add 1/2 cup sugar and the wrapped quince seeds, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 2 hours or until tender, stirring occa­sionally with a wooden spoon.
Squeeze and then remove the wrapped quince seeds from the pot and discard. Use a food processor to puree the quinces. Return to the pot, and add remaining sugar, lime juice, cardamom, and rose water. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 4 hours or until you have a thick reddish paste, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Uncover and cook for another hour. Transfer to an oiled (or lined with parchment paper), rimmed quarter-size sheet pan, or mold. Garnish with pistachios. Leave uncovered at room temperature overnight, or longer, until firm.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!