If you’ve never tried a quince before, one of the first introductions you should have is with a quince tart. With hearty autumnal flavors, it’s an iconic fall treat.
What’s a Quince
But first – if you’ve never tried a quince, it’s time to learn more. This round yellow pear-like fall fruit has a wonderful and delicate flavor. However, if you try to cut into it or eat it in its raw state you’ll notice that it’s a little bit…woody. Maybe chalky. Either way, it’s not the tastiest fruit you’ll ever eat off the tree. Happily, once you bake it, roast it, or stew it, it turns more fragrant and softer with an almost velvety texture.
To get going on this project we received a box of pineapple quince (one of the most common varieties of quince found in the U.S.) from Melissa’s Produce. We also had a chance to sample some high-quality Cutco knives. (This turned out to be the perfect coincidence because the quince is hard. It’s not something you want to risk with a less-than-sharp knife.)
For cutting into a quince, we used this Petite Chef’s Knife. It’s got a perfect ergonomic handle and a razor-sharp blade that makes a clean slice straight through that dense and solid fruit. Then we used a paring knife to remove the peel and seed quadrants. Once we had the quince cut, peeled and sliced, we were ready to turn it into a beautiful fall dessert.
Pineapple quince has the lovely effect of turning just a little bit pink/orange after it is baked, which is what makes this tart such a perfect fall color. We adapted this tart recipe from Martha Stewart’s Quince Tarte Tatin.
Quince Tart Recipe
A lovely quince tart adapted from Martha Stewart to welcome in the fall season.
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
- 1 to 2 tbsp ice-cold water
For the filling
- 3 to 4 pineapple quince, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1 cup sugar
- juice of one lemon
- 3/4` cup sugar (additional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter
Pulse the flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor until evenly crumbly, about 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the ice-cold water through the feed tube and pulse for another 10 seconds or just until the dough becomes a cohesive ball. Remove the dough from the food processor, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Fill a large saucepan with water. Add the 1 cup of sugar and juice from the lemon, as well as the quince slices. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Drain the quince and set aside.
In a 9- or 10-ince cast iron pan, heat the 3/4 cup sugar and salt over medium heat, stirring frequently, so the sugar melts into syrup. Remove it from the heat (being careful not to let it burn) and then stir in the butter.
Carefully arrange the quince slices in a spiral fashion around the pan, filling the bottom.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured board until about 1/4 inch thick. Gently lay the dough on top of the fruit spiral and use a knife to trim it all around the edge of the pan. Tuck in the edges of the dough.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Allow the tart to cool for 15 minutes, then place a large plate on top of the pan and invert the pan so that the tart is on the plate with the fruit on top. Serve warm.
And there you have it! Would you believe that those hard green fruits can turn into… this? We couldn’t believe it either. It’s a lovely transformation, reminiscent of leaves changing color. Once again, it’s a reminder that it’s your iconic fall dessert.
P.S. Looking for another great fall dessert? Try our favorite Sweet Dumpling Squash Bars.
Blogger disclosure: I received the petite chef’s knife as a sample from Cutco Cutlery. I received the quince as a gift from Melissa’s Produce. No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.