This post is all about sharing with you my latest obsession about using quinces. I have added mixed spices to stick to the comforting and warm feeling of the quinces and also to give this tarte tatin a Christmassy feel.
Quinces look like golden yellow and bumpy pears, with a thick skin that needs to peeled off. Quince is not very nice eaten raw, but once cooked it goes very well with game, or as a sweet jelly very traditional in Provence for children to eat as a snack, or in desserts. The texture is perfect for long cooking time, and the fruit it relates to the most is the Bramley apple. Try to substitute the cooking apples with quince next time you make a Crumble.
- 250g plain flour
- 125g unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 50g caster sugar
- 3 big quinces, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 tsp of mixed spice
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 orange, juice and zest
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
Start with the pastry. Rub the cold butter in the flour to create crumbs. Add the sugar and egg and form a ball without kneading the pastry too much. Leave in the fridge for 1h.
Turn the oven on at 180C.
Melt the butter in a big pan and rub the quince quarters in the melted butter to coat them all over. Cook the quinces in the butter for a few minutes constantly moving them around so they don’t burn. Sprinkle the spices on top and make sure it is evenly distributed on all quince pieces. Add the orange juice and the zest, baste the quinces in the orange juice and add the sugar. It will bubble and start forming an orange caramel. Continue basting the quinces in the sticky caramel under low heat so the caramel and the quinces don’t burn. The quinces don’t need to be cooked through at this stage as they will steam under the pastry in the oven.
Position the quinces in the tin, trying to squeeze them together so there is no gap and pour the rest of the caramel on top. Roll the pastry and try to keep it thick (0.5cm). Place the pastry on top and push the pastry around the tin under the quince to create the edge of the tart. This will also provide a sealed environment for the quinces to steam. Cook for 40 minutes.