Quince & Plum Pie

It still being the season for quince, Shona made us all a pie, merging stewed quince and plums to create an exquisite taste that captivated the hungry Cake Clubbers. Then she served it up with yoghurt AND ice cream. Mademoiselle, with this pie, you are spoiling us!


Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 18:10  Leave a Comment  

Quince Tarte Tatin

Tis the season for quince, and Nina produced a delicious quince tarte tatin to prove it. This disappeared quite quickly despite a low turn out – Cake Club members must turn up by 10.10 am these days, or the early gannets unashamedly dive in for seconds.

Quince Tarte Tatin

Quite a laborious recipe, merged from several different sources, most notably the French Tarte Tatin website, which gives the lovely pastry recipe. Of course, if you’re slightly lazy or in a hurry, you can use ready-to-use puff pastry (or, if you’re a real pro, make puff pastry yourself)

First step is to poach the quinces to make them soft and infuse them with some sugar and spices.

Peel your quinces. I used around 10 in total, but only 2.5 for the tarte. However, if you are going through the trouble, better to make a quince feast of it. Cut them in quarters and remove the core, preferably without cutting your fingers.

Put two liters of water with around 600g of sugar in a slow cooker, or in an ovendish in the oven. Most recipes call for more sugar, but I found this sweet enough.

Add 2 cinnamon sticks and a teaspoon of cloves and the quinces.
Bring to a boil and simmer this for at least 3 hours, or overnight, but basically until the quinces changed colour from yellow to pink. Also take care the quinces don’t get too soft, it’s fine for eating, but a bit of a pain for the tarte-process, you don’t want them to fall apart when you touch them.

For the tarte:
The dough, la pâte brisée :
200g flour
100 butter in small pieces
50 g warm milk
1 pinch of salt

General warning: don’t work your dough too much!
Mix flour, butter and salt until it feels sandy.
Add the milk and knead into a homogenous ball, place this in the fridge in plastic wrap for 30 minutes.

Caramel (wet)
100g sugar
50 ml water

Put the water into a heavy-based, deep saucepan, preferably stainless steel as this will allow you to see the colour changes in the caramel. Sprinkle in the sugar and, over a low heat, slowly dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally. It is important to dissolve the sugar completely, as once the syrup starts to boil any sugar crystals can turn the caramel grainy. Use a wet pastry brush to brush any crystals from the sides of the pan.

Increase the heat and bring the syrup to a simmer.
Continue to simmer briskly and after around 15 minutes the syrup will start to colour.

Swirl the pan occasionally to ensure an even colour, but don’t stir. Once it is a deep amber (4-5 minutes more), take off the heat and immediately place the base of the pan in a cold-water bath to stop the caramel cooking (it will hiss).

Now, finally, the actual tarte.
2 to 3 poached quinces (depending on size, you need enough to completely cover the pie-form), cut into relatively thick slices
The dough
Caramel, cooled

In a frying pan melt some butter with a similar amount of sugar and bake the quinces for approximately 15 minutes without stirring, but taking care they don’t burn. If they start sticking to the pan, add more butter. Do this until all the quinces are fried in butter and sugar.

Preheat the oven to 180C
Grease a 26 cm pie-form with butter
Pour the slightly cooled caramel into the form
Arrange the quinces in circles in the form
Roll out the dough into a round flap large enough to cover the quinces completely (yep, 26 cm to fit the form)
Drape the dough over the quinces
Prick with a fork several times so it doesn’t form bubbles during baking
Bake 30 minutes

Let it cool slightly, then cover with a plate and turn upside down, voila the quinces are now on top!
Serve warm, as it is or with (ice) cream

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 18:04  Leave a Comment