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Quince Tarte Tatin

Quince Tarte Tatin

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  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 small quinces (about 3 1/4 pounds), peeled, each cut into 1-inch-wide wedges, cored

Recipe Preparation


  • Mix first 3 ingredients in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix 3 tablespoons ice water and vinegar in small bowl; add to processor. Blend until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.


  • Fill large skillet with ice cubes; set aside.

  • Combine first 3 ingredients in heavy 11-inch-diameter ovenproof skillet. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high; boil until caramel is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of skillet with wet pastry brush and swirling skillet, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter and cinnamon. Immediately place skillet with caramel atop ice in large skillet; let stand until caramel is cold and hardened, about 30 minutes. Remove skillet from ice.

  • Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°F. Arrange quince wedges tightly together, rounded side down, in concentric circles atop caramel in skillet. Fill center with any broken quince pieces. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12 1/2-inch round. Place dough atop quinces; tuck edges of dough down around sides of quinces. Make three 2-inch-long cuts in center of dough to allow steam to escape during baking. Place skillet on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until quinces are tender and crust is deep golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 30 minutes.

  • Place large platter atop skillet. Using oven mitts, hold platter and skillet firmly together and invert, allowing tart to slide out onto platter. Rearrange any dislodged quince wedges, if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe by Jill Silverman Hough,Reviews Section

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Combine the pastry dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to mix.

3. Add the cold butter and pulse several times until mixture resembles course meal.

4. Add the cold water and pulse a few times just until mixture comes together.

5. Turn out onto counter and form into a disc.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

7. Combine the butter and sugar in a 10 inch diameter cast iron or heavy bottomed pan with short sides.

8. Heat until sugar turns a golden amber colour about 5 to 7 minutes.

9. Swirl pan to combine butter. Remove pan from the heat.

10. In the pan arrange quince quarters in a circular pattern with each quarter snugly touching the other.

11. Place a final quarter in the middle of pan to cover bottom evenly.

12. Over medium high heat cook quince, covered, for 15 minutes.

13. Remove cover and continue to cook for about 15 more minutes or until quince is soft and sugar below is dark brown. Remove from heat.

14. On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a circular shape about ¼ inch thick.

15. Diameter should be at least 1 inch larger than the pan with the quince.

16. Place circle of dough over surface of quince and tuck edges underneath quince to neatly cover.

17. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until pastry is golden.

18. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.

19. Flip quince tarte onto a serving plate or wooden board. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Steps to make Quince Tarte Tatin

Prepare the quince

Peel and core the quince. Cut each one into 4 equal sized pieces.

Bring to a boil and simmer

Place the fruit chunks into a medium saucepan with the wine, water, spices, orange zest, salt and ½ cup of caster sugar. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to a slow simmer for 20-30 minutes until soft and tender.

Drain the quince

Remove the quince from the poaching liquid and drain.

Make syrup

Strain the poaching liquid to remove all the spices. Return the liquid to the saucepan. Add the vanilla extract and the juice of an orange. Bring to a boil again and simmer over a low heat for about 15 minutes until the syrup has thickened. Set aside to cool.

Make the caramel

Add the sugar to a heavy-bottomed cast iron pan over medium-low heat. Swirl occasionally to ensure the sugar doesn’t burn. When the sugar turns golden brown, add the butter and cook until it starts to bubble.

Quince Tarte Tatin

My quinces trees were very generous this year and not that the leaves are gone I still have these wonderful fruits which I appreciate so much. I hope more and more people will discover this fruit.

Today I prepared a tarte tatin inspired by the recipe I posted a few days ago: “Ayva Tatlısı – Turkish Quince Dessert”.

In fact the preparation of the poached quinces is almost the same, I only substituted the water by a sweet rose wine (could have been white or red as well).

I was tempted to add some color with some leaves as mint, thyme or some pistachios, but finally I found to let it as it is and for the picture place the main ingredients on the background.

This tarte tatin can be served as it is or still warm with some vanilla ice cream or other refreshing sauces. Up to you!

Quince Tarte Tatin

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 3hr
  • Difficulty: medium


Poached quince tarte tatin

Quince is inedible hard and fury when fresh and look like they just stepped right out of biblical times. When cooked however their flesh becomes soft, pink and very delicious. I adore using them in baking recipes and included three in my second cookbook ‘sweet’ under the fruit chapter. This poached quince tarte tatin is one of those recipes. Quince is also in season now so I thought I would share this super easy recipe.

Poached quinces work beautifully in a tarte tatin and this version is not too sweet. I’ve reduced the delicious pink poaching liquid to a syrup and incorporated it into the recipe because I hate to waste such an important flavour component of a dish. The vanilla and star anise elevate the flavour to another level. This dessert is fabulous served with whipped Chantilly cream (cream and vanilla) or vanilla ice cream.

Quince Tarte Tatin

If you've followed this blog for awhile, you may know that my lovely parents send me a big ol box of quince every October. They are one of my very favorite fall fruits, despite the bit of effort it takes to eat and enjoy them. I love them so much that I even gave them a very special place in the fall chapter in my book. Check out these posts to learn more about quince and see what I've done with them in the past.

Pictured Above: Roasted Quinces from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - This recipe makes beautiful rosy quince that are quite tart, due to the generous amount of lemon juice. When cooked this way the quince hold their shape quite well making them perfect for all sorts of uses.

A note on quince prep - Since quince are super hard to slice I have started to peel them and cut them into wedges before cooking, but I wait until after they cooked to remove the cores. It is much, much easier than doing al of that slicing up front!!


I learned this general method from David Leibovitz's blog, but have adjusted it just a bit over the years to suit my preferences, and Sam's deliciously spiced Maple Poached Quinces. You'll need enough quince wedges to snuggly cover the bottom of a 9 or 10-inch skillet so you'll have to double or triple the poached quince recipe depending on the size of your fruit. Now, I know not everyone has a steady source of quince in their lives, so I bet you could poach some pears and make this tarte tatin with those instead.

3-4 Maple Poached Quinces (recipe follows), cut into quarters

1 1/4 cups quince poaching liquid

1 disc rye pie crust, or your favorite pie crust

Pour the poaching liquid, sugar, and salt into an oven-safe, 9 or 10-inch skillet and reduce the liquid, swirling the pan occasionally until it is thick and syrupy. You should have about 1/4 cup of liquid left in the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and line it with the quince wedges, rounded sides down. They should fit snugly in the pan as the slice will settle and shrink a bit while cooking.

On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a rough circle just under 1/4-inch thick. Trim the circle so it fits snugly into the skillet. Lay the dough over the fruit and tuck in the edges.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the pastry is deep, deep golden brown and cooked through. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool slightly on a rack. Carefully invert the tarte onto a rimmed plate and replace any quince slices that may have gotten stuck to the pan. Serve warm with ice cream.

Maple Poached Quince

Sam's original recipe does not call for a vanilla bean, but I love the floral flavor of quince paired with vanilla so I threw a bean into the pot. This recipe makes just a couple of quinces, you'll need a few more for the tarte tatin so multiply accordingly.

6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed

2 medium quince peeled and cut into quarters

In a medium saucepan, combine the maple syrup, cardamom pods, vanilla bean, salt, and water. Add the quince wedges to the pot.

Cut a circle of parchment that is about 1-inch larger than the circumference of your saucepan. Cut a small hole in the center of the circle. Bring the mixture to a simmer on medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to a very gentle simmer.

Place the parchment directly on top of the fruit in the liquid. Cook until the quince is tender when pierced with a knife, flipping the wedges occasionally, 40-50 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot and add more water if necessary to keep the fruit submerged. Let the fruit cool completely in the syrup. Store the quince in the fridge in an airtight container, submerged in their syrup. As needed, cut the seeds and cores from the wedges before serving.

Step 3/3

  • 270 g puff pastry
  • whipped cream for serving
  • baking dish
  • knife
  • rolling pin

In the meantime, roll out puff pastry and cut to fit baking dish, or into desired shape. Remove frying pan from stove and fan quince slices over baking dish, pour caramel on top, and cover with puff pastry. Bake for approx. 25 - 30 min. at 210°C/410°F, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for approx. 5 min. Flip and unmold tarte from pan and enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream if desired!

Recipe: Poached quinces

Poached quinces can be treated like stewed apples or pears and added to crumbles, spice cakes, pies and pastries – quince tarte Tatin is especially lush. More simply, the chopped fruit can be stirred into porridge or yoghurt. Middle Eastern cuisine uses it as an accompaniment to cooked meats. The leftover poaching syrup from this recipe can be mixed into club soda for a delicious pink soft drink.


4 cups water
2.5kg white sugar
About 2.5kg peeled, cored quinces, roughly quartered
2 lemons, juiced

Pour water and sugar into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Turn down to low, add quinces and lemon juice and cook at a bare simmer for at least 2 hours.

Turn the quince pieces occasionally if they are not fully covered. They are done when they are tender and pink – their colour will deepen on standing.


Generously butter a 9 - inch cake pan or coat it with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the caramel

Place the sugar in the bottom of a small saucepan and slowly pour in the water. Stir gently to moisten the sugar. If any sugar crystals are clinging to the sides of the pan, brush them down with a pastry brush dipped in water. Place the saucepan over high heat and leave it undisturbed until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. (You want to avoid crystallization of the syrup, which can happen if the pan is disturbed before the sugar starts to color.) Then continue to boil rapidly without moving the pan until the sugar syrup starts to caramelize. This will take 3 to 4 minutes: the sugar syrup will boil furiously then as it thickens, it will boil more languidly and then you will see some of the syrup starting to color and darken around the edge of the pan.

When you see color in the pan, gently swirl it in a circular motion so the sugar caramelizes evenly. Turn down the heat to medium and keep swirling the pan gently until the caramel is a dark amber-brown. Once the sugar has started to caramelize, watch it carefully and have the butter ready to go. It may smoke a little bit, which is fine. It takes just seconds for caramel to go from great to burnt, so be sure to tilt and check constantly. At the same time, you want to make sure it turns a nice, deep amber-brown, because if you don’t, it won’t have the characteristically bittersweet edge you want for your caramel.

As soon as the caramel is ready, immediately add the butter. Be careful, because it will sputter and spatter when it hits the caramel. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely incorporated. It will seize up at first and get foamy eventually the hard caramel will melt and combine with the butter. Whisk in the salt and immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Swirl the pan until it is evenly coated with the caramel. Use the same day, or cover the pan tightly and store at cool room temperature for up to 1 week.

In a medium saucepan, combine the quinces, sugar, water, and cinnamon and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 2½ hours, or until the quinces are cooked. They should be tender enough to pierce easily with a knife. The quinces will slowly undergo a transformation from pale to semitranslucent to rosy.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the quinces cool in the syrup until they are cool enough to handle. (The quinces can be prepared up to 1 week in advance and stored in their syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

On a well-floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry dough into a circle 10 to 11 inches in diameter and about ¼ inch thick. Don’t be afraid to be rough with the dough: flip it upside down, turn it side to side, and pound it with the rolling pin to flatten it as you roll it into a nice circle. Transfer the dough circle to a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 day.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F .

Arrange the apple quarters, rounded-side down, in the caramel in the cake pan, using as many as will fit snugly in the bottom and covering the entire bottom of the pan. Drain the quince quarters, discard the cinnamon, and place a layer of quince on top of the apples, again filling the pan as tightly as you can with the fruit. You want every single inch of the pan to be covered with apples and quinces. The fruit cooks down and reduces somewhat in the oven, so don’t be shy about packing the fruit quarters tightly. Place the rest of the apples and quinces into the pan, arranging the fruit so that it is fairly level on top.

Remove the dough circle from the refrigerator, and trim it so it is about 10 inches in diameter. Drape the dough directly on top of the apples and quinces, and tuck the edge of the dough into the rim of the pan, fitting it snugly around the fruit.

Tilt the cake pan a little, and if you see a lot of juice, drain some of it out. Place a large serving plate upside down on top of the cake pan, then holding the pan and the plate tightly together, carefully and quickly invert them onto a firm surface. Carefully lift off the cake pan. Sometimes the fruit pieces get jostled loose and fall off the pastry, so replace them as needed. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream alongside or with a drizzle of cream on top.

The tart can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Baker’s Bite

This tarte Tatin features both apples and quinces. Quinces are hard, knobby, pear-looking fruits that perfume the whole room with their pineappley smell as they sit on the counter. Don’t be tempted to eat them raw, however, as they are much too hard and astringent. You must first poach them in a light sugar syrup for a couple of hours. Initially, you’ll notice nothing special as they cook. But after a while, jiggle the pan, and as you watch the syrup f low over them, you will witness an awesome transformation: they go from almost white to golden yellow to, finally, a deep rose. (Sometimes the rose color develops only after they have finished poaching and have sat for a few more hours off the heat.) Their taste reminds me of lychees, one of my favorite childhood fruits, and it goes marvelously with the caramelized apples.


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