I was at a fruit shop waiting for my work mate to buy his apples after our lunch. I was just browsing the ailses when these ugly looking yellow things caught my eyes. I would have walked right past them previously, but thanks to the knowledge of blogs, I knew that these ugly things were quinces. I first saw a photo of them on Vida's blog. Vida also talked about how great they were and the aromas they produce. Since seeing that photo, I have seen them being used on a cooking show on TV, eaten many quince desserts at restaurants, gone on a quince paste hunt that turned out the cheapest quince paste at Casa Iberica.
So upon seeing these rare fruit, what would any self respecting food lover do? Well I don't know about you, but I bought every last fruit in the shop. Then it was decision time, what should I do with them first. I then remembered reading about Duncan's tarte tatin post and thinking how I wanted to try and make that. Then I thought, I can be smart and substitute the apples with quinces.
So I flicked through my cookbooks, all six of them, to look for an apple tarte tatin (is the apple part redundant as a tarte tatin implies apples already?) recipe. What should I find in the Women's Weekly Bake book, a recipe for quince tarte tatin. So I didn't even need to make guesses at what to do. The recipe showed how to prepare the quinces.
Finally, to the results. Well I love it. The aroma of the quinces is intoxicating. It's such a strange flavour that you just can't put your finger on. I love the juices from the quinces as the pastry is quite good too.
Quince Tarte Tatin
From Australian Women's Weekly Bake
4 medium quinces (1.2kg)
1 cup caster sugar
1 litre (4 cups) water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
100g butter chopped coarsely
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp iced water
1. Peel, quarter and core quinces.
2. Combine quince, sugar, water, juice and rind in large saucepan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2.5 hours until quince is rosy in colour. Remove quince from syrup and bring syrup to boil. Boil uncovered until syrup reduces to 3/4 cup. Stir in butter.
3. Meanwhile make pastry and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 200C. Line based of greased 22cm round cake pan with baking paper.
5. Place quince, rounded-side down, in pan. Pour syrup over quince.
6. Roll pastry between two sheets of baking paper. Place pastry over quince and tuck in edges.
7. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto serving plate.
1. Process flour, sugar and butter until crumbly. If you don't have a processor like me, just use your fingers to rub the butter in.
2. Add egg yolk and enough water to make the ingredients come together.
3. Shape dough into ball and wrap with cling wrap and place in fridge.