If you've followed this blog for awhile, you may know that my lovely parents send me a big ol box of quince every October. They are one of my very favorite fall fruits, despite the bit of effort it takes to eat and enjoy them. I love them so much that I even gave them a very special place in the fall chapter in my book. Check out these posts to learn more about quince and see what I've done with them in the past.
Pictured Above: Roasted Quinces from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - This recipe makes beautiful rosy quince that are quite tart, due to the generous amount of lemon juice. When cooked this way the quince hold their shape quite well making them perfect for all sorts of uses.
A note on quince prep - Since quince are super hard to slice I have started to peel them and cut them into wedges before cooking, but I wait until after they cooked to remove the cores. It is much, much easier than doing al of that slicing up front!!
QUINCE TARTE TATIN WITH MAPLE POACHED QUINCES
I learned this general method from David Leibovitz's blog, but have adjusted it just a bit over the years to suit my preferences, and Sam's deliciously spiced Maple Poached Quinces. You'll need enough quince wedges to snuggly cover the bottom of a 9 or 10-inch skillet so you'll have to double or triple the poached quince recipe depending on the size of your fruit. Now, I know not everyone has a steady source of quince in their lives, so I bet you could poach some pears and make this tarte tatin with those instead.
3-4 Maple Poached Quinces (recipe follows), cut into quarters
1 1/4 cups quince poaching liquid
2 tablespoons sugar
1 disc rye pie crust, or your favorite pie crust
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Pour the poaching liquid, sugar, and salt into an oven-safe, 9 or 10-inch skillet and reduce the liquid, swirling the pan occasionally until it is thick and syrupy. You should have about 1/4 cup of liquid left in the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and line it with the quince wedges, rounded sides down. They should fit snugly in the pan as the slice will settle and shrink a bit while cooking.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a rough circle just under 1/4-inch thick. Trim the circle so it fits snugly into the skillet. Lay the dough over the fruit and tuck in the edges.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the pastry is deep, deep golden brown and cooked through. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool slightly on a rack. Carefully invert the tarte onto a rimmed plate and replace any quince slices that may have gotten stuck to the pan. Serve warm with ice cream.
Maple Poached Quince
Sam's original recipe does not call for a vanilla bean, but I love the floral flavor of quince paired with vanilla so I threw a bean into the pot. This recipe makes just a couple of quinces, you'll need a few more for the tarte tatin so multiply accordingly.
1/2 cup maple syrup
6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 vanilla bean
2 cups water
2 medium quince peeled and cut into quarters
In a medium saucepan, combine the maple syrup, cardamom pods, vanilla bean, salt, and water. Add the quince wedges to the pot.
Cut a circle of parchment that is about 1-inch larger than the circumference of your saucepan. Cut a small hole in the center of the circle. Bring the mixture to a simmer on medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to a very gentle simmer.
Place the parchment directly on top of the fruit in the liquid. Cook until the quince is tender when pierced with a knife, flipping the wedges occasionally, 40-50 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot and add more water if necessary to keep the fruit submerged. Let the fruit cool completely in the syrup. Store the quince in the fridge in an airtight container, submerged in their syrup. As needed, cut the seeds and cores from the wedges before serving.