Quince and cobnut tart

Quince and cobnut tart

By
From
Spring
Serves
8-10
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Quince is probably my favourite autumn fruit. Tasting somewhere between an apricot and a pear, it is beautiful to behold and a joy to cook. It does, however, need long, slow cooking to soften the flesh and intensify the lovely colour. This upside-down tart is really a variation on a tarte tatin and is best eaten still slightly warm from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the quince

Quantity Ingredient
4 firm, ripe, unblemished quinces
100g caster sugar
2 bay leaves
1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways
350ml verjuice or water

For the pastry

Quantity Ingredient
150g plain flour
85g chilled unsalted butter
pinch salt
1 teaspoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons chilled water

To assemble

Quantity Ingredient
30g chopped cobnuts or hazelnuts
20g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small flakes
1-1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Wipe the quince clean with a clean, damp cloth, then cut lengthways in half, using a sharp knife.
  2. Place the quince, cut side up, in a small roasting tray in which they fit snugly, and scatter over the sugar, bay leaves and vanilla pod (with seeds). Pour over enough verjuice or water to just cover, then seal tightly with foil. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 11/2 hours, then remove the foil and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and pour off the cooking liquor into a small pan. Bring to the boil and let bubble until reduced to a thick syrup consistency, almost like a caramel. Set aside with the baked quince.
  4. For the pastry, it’s a good idea to chill the flour in the fridge for 20 minutes or so before you start. Sift the flour into a bowl. Cut the cold butter into 5mm slivers, letting them fall into the flour as you cut them. Add the salt and sugar. With your fingertips, work the butter lightly into the dough. You should have a texture like very rough sand. Add the water and mix until the dough just comes together.
  5. Tip the crumby dough onto a large sheet of cling film and lay another piece of cling film on top. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out between the cling film to a thick disc, then transfer to the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Core each baked quince half, then slice into 4 or 5 wedges. Arrange, skin side down, in a circular pattern over the base of a 20cm springform cake tin. Scatter over the chopped nuts and spoon over 2 tbsp of the reduced quince cooking liquor.
  7. Unwrap the pastry and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out very thinly to a large round, about 24cm in diameter and no thicker than mm. Trim the edges.
  8. Dot the quince with the butter flakes. Carefully lay the pastry over the top, tucking the edges down inside the rim of the cake tin. Prick the pastry with a fork and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the pastry is dark golden and the juices are bubbling around the edges.
  9. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before carefully inverting and unmoulding the tart onto a plate to serve.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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