Don't just use your apples in pies. Rose Blackett-Ord proves that apples add a special flavour to a variety of dishes with this goat's cheese tartlet with apple membrillo recipe

This goat’s cheese tartlet with apple membrillo recipe works well with apples from an orchard and the supermarket. Membrillo is a Spanish concept, a thick paste made with quince and traditionally served with manchego. This method substitues apples for quinces.

For another starter or light lunch recipe that will use up some of your apple harvest, try our beetroot, crème frâiche and buttered apple soup. Perfect for when the weather starts to get a little chillier.


Serves 4

For the membrillo

  • 500g (1lb) cooking apples – Bramleys work well
  • Water
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • Sugar

For the tartlet

  • Around 110g (4oz) puff pastry
  • 4 thin slices matured goat’s cheese
  • Milk


You’ll need to make the membrillo a day or so in advance. Quarter the apples, leaving peel and seeds intact, into a large pan and just cover with water and a little lemon juice. Cook gently until the flesh completely dissolves and allow to cool slightly, then pass the pulp through a fine sieve.

Weigh the sieved pulp into a clean pan with an equal quantity of sugar. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and simmer until extremely thick and dark. This will take at least an hour, possibly more. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from catching.

Pour the apple mixture into a small, lined loaf tin or similar ovenproof container. Place in a low oven (around 50°C/120°F/Gas Mark 1⁄8th, or the bottom left of the Aga) for one to two hours, then turn it out of the tin and return to the oven for another one to two hours. It should dry slightly and become quite firm.


To make the tartlet, roll out the puff pastry thinly (even if it’s the pre-rolled stuff, it’s still a bit thick) and cut into squares or rounds, depending on the shape of the goat’s cheese. With the blade of a knife, gently mark another square or round about 1cm into each tartlet, to make a rim.

Place a piece of cheese in the centre of each tartlet, making sure it stays inside the rim you’ve made, then cut the membrillo into slices about 0.5cm (1⁄4in) thick and lay them on the cheese. You can be creative with your patterns, but don’t make the slices any thinner or they’ll slide out of place.

Glaze the rim of each tartlet with milk and bake in a hot oven (200°C/ 400°F/Gas Mark 6) for around 10 minutes, or until the puff pastry rims have risen and both they and the cheese are golden brown.

Serve with a herby salad and some slices of fresh apple. Any leftover membrillo is delicious with fresh goat’s cheese or a mature cheddar and crusty bread. It keeps for a few months wrapped in greaseproof and stored somewhere cool.