Quince Tarte Tatin

quince tarte tatin | apt 2b baking co
quince | apt 2b baking co
quince | apt 2b baking co
quince | apt 2b baking co
quince | apt 2b baking co
quince tarte tatin | apt 2b baking co

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

pinch salt

1 disc rye pie crust, or your favorite pie crust

Preheat oven to 400ΒΊF. 

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

adapted from The New Sugar and Spice by Samantha Seneviratne

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 

pinch salt

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.

quince | apt 2b baking co

Italian Plum Pie

italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co
italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co
italian plum pie-0610.jpg
italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co
italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co
italian plum pie-0613.jpg
italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co

There's a new kid in town, and by kid in town, I mean almost 12 week old maniac puppy in my house. I posted on instagram yesterday that he was 10 weeks old, but when we actually sat down with a calendar this morning we realized he was 12 weeks, not even close to 10.

We have been in a weird time vacuum this summer- busy and traveling at first, and now trying to settle back into a new routine and trying to teach this puppy to sleep in his new home and be a good citizen. NYC is a loud smelly place and our sweet pup is learning to love it more and more everyday, even if it is overwhelming - a 20 minute hang on the stoop is stimulating enough to send him straight to a 2 hour nap. Me too pup, me too. This city is tiring. 

Some friends of ours, I've mentioned a couple of times, decamped Brooklyn for the Pacific Northwest and moved to a house with a hearty rhubarb plant, alongside an Italian plum, and hazelnut tree. Pete joked that their new yard makes it's own trailmix, a very Northwestern ideal.

Apparently that plum tree is an excellent producer of the most beautiful deep-blue purple plums with orangey centers, and our generous pal sent me a box full that I sadly haven't had much time to play with because of aforementioned pup that requires hourly monitoring...But yesterday I said enough is enough - I need to bake something with these plums! As I sliced them open I smiled  at the perfectly contrasting colors and was so happy to be hanging in the kitchen with a peacefully snoozing pup in the other room. 

It was a bit slap-dash as all of my pies are these days. I use my new fave easiest pie crust ever, but swapped in 1/2 rye flour for the all purpose, and employed my general prefered fruit pie formula - adjusted it a bit to suit the fruit. 

Italian Plum Pie

makes one, 9-inch pie

Plum pie is my very favorite summer-to-fall transitional treat. Italian plums are so perfectly suited to cooking and baking that I can't resist them at the market everytime I go. They pair well with both bright citrusy flavors and deeper toastier ones like whole grain flours and warm spices like cinnamon.  In a moment of Four and Twenty Blackbirds inspiration, I shook a bottle of cardamom bitters into the filling which ended up being a totally delicious move, which I highly recommend if you happen to keep a bottle in your bar. If not, a bit of ground cardamom is great too.

2 1/2 times Easiest Pie Crust Ever, split into two discs (sub 1/2 of the all purpose flour for rye)

2 lbs (900g) Italian plums

1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar

seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup (30g) flour

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

5 shakes/dashes cardamom bitters or 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 400ΒΊ F and place a rack in the bottom of the oven. In a large bowl combine the sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Use your fingers to rub the and seeds into the sugar until well combined and fragrant. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and salt.

Pit and cut the plums into quarters. Add them to the bowl but don't stir quite yet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a roughly 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick and place it into a 9-inch pie pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie. Roll out the other piece of dough into a roughly 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.

Add the bitters to the filling, then gently stir the filling ingredients together. Fill the pie shell, press gently to compact the fruit, and top with the second crust.

Trim the edges so they are even, then crimp them together. Alternately, cut the second crust into 1 1/2 to 2-inch strips and weave a lattice top.

Slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes or until the crust is very firm. When you are ready to bake, carefully and gently brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar.

Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble. Cool before slicing.