A Fall Classic Reinvented : Quince Tarte Tatin

A tarte tatin or up-side-down pie, is an easy way to skillet bake. Traditionally done with apples, I like to reinvent this classic with quinces.

A QUINCE is a fruit often described (or is that just me?) as a love baby of an apple and a pear.  It’s the fruit of a drought-tolerant shrub and mostly grown in Turkey and South West Asia. Most varieties are too hard and sour to eat raw but as they are high in pectin, it makes them ideal to use in jam or make quince fruit paste called cheese.

TARTE TATIN named after the Hotel Tatin near Paris in France, where it was created in 1880s. Mademoiselle Tatin was distracted one day and let the apples for her apple pie cook too long in butter and sugar.  In efforts to safe the pie, she flopped pie dough over the skillet, baked it and flipped it over. Her hotel guests were delighted and a new pie was born. Now what is not to love about apples, butter, sugar and pie crust!

MY TATIN is a little less sweet as quinces are by nature more sour than apples. As they are a hard fruit, I poached them first, flavoured with a vanilla pod, staranis and lemon peel. This to soften them up before baking them in butter and adding puff pastry. I than reduce the poaching liquid and use that syrup as base flavour. Traditionally one adds a crumb pie (pâte brisée)  but I like me some puff. Mostly served with cream or ice cream, I like mine with unsweetened chestnut paste, yumm! It’s truly fall on a plate!

Quince Tarte Tatin

Ingredients

  • 3 quinces, peeled and cored
  • 500 ml water
  • 250 gr cater sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anis
  • 1 slice lemon peel, about 5 cm long
  • 15 gr unsalted butter
  • 1 puff pastry 

Instructions

  1. Chop the peeled and cored quinces lengthwise in half, and in half again.
  2. Bring the water to the boil and sugar, stir with wooden spoon till dissolved, add the lemon peel, cinnamon stick and quince pieces. Let simmer about 15 minutes till the fruit is soft but still holds together nicely. 
  3. Remove the fruit, lemon peel and cinnamon stick. Bring the liquid to a boil and let reduce by 1/3.
  4. Transfer the syrupy liquid to a skillet, remove from heat and stir in the butter and let cool.
  5. Place the poached quince pieces in the skillet, cut side up, ensure no large gaps and top with puff pastry. Tuck the edges. Bake in pre heated oven at 180C degrees for 25 minutes till golden brown.
  6. Gently loosen the pastry from the skillet with a knife, place a large serving plate on top and quickly but carefully invert. Serve immediately with some flavoured cream or vanilla ice cream.

Notes

on www.leeksandhighheels.com by Sandra Slawinski 

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